Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City emerges as an oasis in a desert, proving that uniqueness and a devout following can still make waves at the box office. This past weekend, cinephiles witnessed a spectacle as Anderson’s latest creation not only expanded to over 1,600 theaters nationwide but also outshone the colossal franchise, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, by earning $3.8 million on Friday alone.
With an expected haul of around $8.4 million over the weekend, Asteroid City is taking sure-footed steps towards being a domestic darling with its total close to $10 million as per Collider.
What makes this feat even more remarkable is the average earning per theater, a metric often overlooked but very telling. Asteroid City boasted a per-theater average of just under $150,000. To put this in perspective, this is the highest average for a specialty release since La La Land in 2016. The film premiered in a meager six locations the previous weekend and managed to create ripples with an earning of $830,000 in three days.
Wes Anderson, a name synonymous with quirky artistry and a distinctive palette. The director has a track record of crafting gems that might not always be blockbusters but have a fervent following.
One of his most beloved works, The Grand Budapest Hotel, holds the crown both in terms of global earnings with a whopping $174 million and the highest per-theater average for specialty releases. Other noteworthy creations from the maestro include The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and Isle of Dogs with global earnings of $71 million, $68 million, and $64 million respectively.
A Retro-Futuristic Confluence of Wit, Wonder, and Wes Anderson
Asteroid City promises to transport audiences to an idiosyncratic world, melding science fiction with comedy-drama, and adorning it with the auteur’s signature touches. The film is set in 1955 within a fictional desert town that serves as the venue for a science convention attended by five teenage prodigies and their families.
As they gather to celebrate the young geniuses’ achievements, an unexpected and transformative event takes place, leaving everyone pondering the enigmatic question of life’s trajectory.
Asteroid City itself is a tapestry woven with a rich ensemble cast and an intriguing premise. The film, largely shot in Spain, vied for accolades at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Set in 1955, the film is a sci-fi infused comedy-drama centered around a Junior Stargazer convention.
What makes it all the more enticing is the star-studded cast that includes the likes of Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum.
Asteroid City serves as a testament to Wes Anderson’s enduring allure and the power of cinema that dares to paint outside the lines. Asteroid City’s ability to charm audiences while steering clear of clichés is truly encouraging. Its lasting appeal, however, is yet to be determined.