“Cloud Atlas” is a movie based on a highly regarded novel, made by big name directors. It has an ambitious plot and stars well-known award winning actors. It’s an expensive movie that is aimed squarely at the Oscars and also got a wide US release in the hope that all these elements would help it score at the box office.
It didn’t. In seventeen days in the US, the film has earned just $23 million. It also received mixed to poor reviews that say it’s not going to achieve its Oscar ambitions either in a season already crowded with much better-liked movies. It’s a certified flop.
Or not–the international box office has stepped in to save the day! “Cloud Atlas” was released in Russia and the Ukraine this weekend, making its European debut, and earned $9.71 million, which is a touch more than its US opening of $9.6 million. Apparently the movie is better subtitled.
Alexander van Dulmen, the head of A Film Russia, which released the film in the two territories, talked to The Hollywood Reporter:
“I always believed in the film…we treated it like a blockbuster in Russia and tremendous support from the exhibitors and and our studio partner 20th Century Fox Russia…It was a tremendous marketing achievement. Personally, I’m extremely pleased that a brainy movie like this one has done so well in Russia.”
Uh oh, I think he just called US audiences stupid. Or maybe US audiences are just good at seeing past big budgets and star names to see that there’s no there there.
“Cloud Atlas” played on 1,400 screens in Russia and 120 screens in the Ukraine. If they get this type of reception in other markets as the movie begins to hit more locations, maybe it will end up with a respectable worldwide box office. Then you know what will happen? “Cloud Atlas II!”
“Cloud Atlas” was directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski. The cast includes om Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant.