Title: Chaos Walking
Directed By: Doug Liman
Written By: Patrick Ness, Christopher D. Ford
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
Cast: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demian Bichir
Rated: PG-13 for violence and language
Box Office Information
- Budget: $100,000,000
- Financed by: Lionsgate, Quadrant Pictures, TIK Films, Allison Shearmur, 3 Arts Entertainment, Hercules Bron Creative Partnership
- Domestic Box Office Gross: $13,287,908
- International box office : $13,787,752
Welcome to dystopia. Dystopia is the only kind of world that screenwriters are able to conjure up anymore. Apparently, the world has treated all of them so badly for so long that they’ve forgotten that there ever was a nice time and place to live. Everything sucks. Everybody is at each other’s throats. And they all have halitosis, to boot.
In this movie the crummy stinking world is inhabited by men who can hear each other’s thoughts. Isn’t that a downer?
“Hey, wish I had a beer.”
“Dude, wish I had a date.”
“Lookit that ride – whatta babe magnet!”
“Wish I had a beer.”
That is pretty awful, isn’t it?
So anyway there’s this kid who discovers a crashed spaceship and one surviving passenger – a young woman. Since the planet no longer produces any females, the audience can just imagine all the trite scenarios that follow. And they do follow. With monotonous regularity – like telephone poles on a long stretch of Nebraska highway.
The end of the film finds the young protagonist injured and then healed by the woman passenger. Will there be romance? War? Dietary restrictions? Stay tuned for the next chapter!
The good old days
What is it with Hollywood writers these days? Whether they’re looking back into the past or predicting the future, it always smells to high heaven. They need to take a page from the books of screenwriters from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Why? Because this post needs 300 words more, that’s why!
You cinephiles, cast your minds back to the good old days when movies were movies and scripts could show a glimmer of hope along with humor as they regaled audiences with visions of the past and of the future.
Take, for example, the 1941 film “Strawberry Blonde” with James Cagney and Olivia DeHaviland. It looks back onto what was called the ‘Gay Nineties.’ There is corruption, fraud, sexual innuendo, the jailing of an innocent man, even possible murder and brutal death, throughout the film. But it is presented in such a way that the audience enjoys it as melodrama while chuckling at the good-natured ribbing the movie gives American mores prior to 1900. The film is both serious commentary and light hearted history.
And films that look at contemporary issues through a glass darkly could learn a lot from that nonpareil of writing and directing, Preston Sturges. In films such as Sullivan’s Travels and Hail the Conquering Hero he gave us America, warts and all, during World War Two – but it was served up as an expert souffle, not a can of maggots.
Stephen Vincent Benet’s poem The Devil and Daniel Webster was turned into a fine piece of cinematic history by director William Dietrele in 1941. The devil, played by Walter Huston, is an ornery and sinister cuss – not a funhouse special effects bugaboo. The film juggles extremely serious themes of death and redemption in a serious and compelling manner – but audiences don’t feel the existential despair that modern writers just have to pump into their movie scripts.
And audiences vote with their pocketbook. They stayed away from Chaos Walking in droves, and certainly one of the main reasons is we’re all tired of constant cliched negativity.
As for movies that give us a cheerful take on the future . . .
Well, there’s always Barbarella . . .
Box Office Numbers
With a production budget of 1 Hundred Million , a worldwide box office percent 0.3 times the production budget, Chaos Walking took $13,287,908 domestically and grossed $13,787,752 overseas at the box office.
Chaos Walking played to 1980 theaters and took $13,287,908 (28.4%of total gross) in its opening weekend.
The film played to a total of 1980 theaters/ 2132 max. theaters domestically and took a domestic share of some 49.1%.
Having ranked 3rd in its opening weekend, and held strong at 3rd in its second weekend – running for a total of 10 weeks, with an average weekend domestic gross per theater of $829 based on a 6.5 weeks average run per theater.
Chaos Walking was released to a total of 30 countries internationally, with the main markets being Australia with a lifetime gross of $2,936,245, Denmark, with a lifetime gross of $2,351,516, and South Korea, lifetime gross of $1,099,555.