Directed By: Joe Wright
Written By: Erica Schmidt based on story by Edmond Rostand
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2022
Domestic Distributor: United Artists
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kevin Harrison Jr
Genre: Musical, live action
Box Office Information
- Budget: ?
- Financed by: Working Title Films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Bron Creative
- Domestic Box Office Gross: $3,873,124
- Overseas Box Office Gross: $2,119,219
Loosely based on the 1897 Edmond Rostand play of the same name, this time around Cyrano de Bergerac is not handicapped with a foot-long nose. Instead, he is simply small in stature, though still large in heart.
Cyrano falls deeply in love with Roxanne, but she has eyes only for a young popinjay named Christian. So Cyrano, a superb lyrical poet, supplies Christian with reams of romantic verse to woo Roxanne himself.
There are duels and wars and jousts and a bunch of musical numbers as the months flit by – but Cyrano remains constant to his love for Roxanne, which he can only express through Christian. Cyrano’s height and pride leaves him unable to express himself romantically to her.
He eventually dies of a broken heart, and some war wounds, and as Roxanne comes to bid him farewell he finally reveals that it was he alone who dazzled her with his words, through Christian. She tells him tenderly that she now realizes she loved him, and he dies blissfully in her arms.
What went wrong?
Nothing, really. The actors, especially Peter Dinklage, are superior. The script handles the original creaky plot in a refreshing manner. And the music, while not too hummable, is lilting and propels the plot along almost logically.
The critics, for the most part, enjoyed the film. And yet audiences quickly dried up like so many raisins in the Mediterranean sun.
The blame may be laid to Weltschmerz.
Okay, smarty-pants, what the heck is Weltschmerz?
Weltschmerz is a term coined by German poets and novelists during the 18th century, to denote a melancholy world-weariness that drains all pleasure out of life.
Our world is currently undergoing a huge siege of Weltschmerz, caused in part by the continuing effects of the pandemic, inflation, the war in the Ukraine, and political turmoil. We are worn out, burnt out, and played out.
But this time around the movies we seek for diversion are not the same type as our grandparents viewed so eagerly during the Great Depression nearly a hundred years ago. That, too, was a time of catastrophic Weltschmerz. But back then the movies provided audiences with the blithe fluff of Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Clark Gable. And, most especially, a roster of inspired sillies that has never been equaled before or since. There was the growling non sequiturs of W.C. Fields. The lunatic frolics of the Marx Brothers. The courtly slapstick of Laurel and Hardy. Audiences were carried away with laughter and sentiment by the Hollywood Fun Factory. It was, indeed, a pleasant cure for their Weltschmerz.
But today’s Weltschmerz seems to demand stronger medicine. Violent. Brutal. Sticky with sex. If a film doesn’t contain a behemoth destroying a city, a randy mob of mutants or extraterrestrials, or some horrible criminal/sexual activity, then audiences would rather stay at home with their Netflix and Hulu. They don’t want pleasant fantasies, they want raw shock value. And if a movie doesn’t provide such things, the crowds snub it.
That, in a nutshell, is why Cyrano underperformed so badly at the box office. As Shakespeare put it: “The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
The film should recoup its losses when it goes to DVD and live streaming.
Box Office Numbers
With a production budget unannounced, a worldwide box office percent is unavailable for the production budget, Cyrano(2022) took $3,873,124 domestically and grossed $2,119,219 overseas at the box office.
Cyrano(2022) played in 797 theaters and took $1,385,995 (35.8%of total gross) in its opening weekend.
The film played to a total of 797 theaters domestically and took a domestic share of some 64.6%.
Having ranked 9th in its opening weekend, Cyrano(2022) and surprisingly did an increase of rank at 8th in its second weekend – running for a total of 3.5 weeks (16 weeks if you count the pre-showing since December 17, 2021), with an average weekend domestic gross of $3,329,664 based on a 3 weeks average run per theater.
Cyrano(2022) was released to a total of 28 countries internationally, with the main markets being the United Kingdom with a lifetime gross of $974,876, Australia, with a lifetime gross of $266,851, and South Korea, with lifetime gross of $165,990. There was a $0 market in 1 country not opening in any theater in that country. 7 more countries opened in under 20 theaters averaging under $4,000 to $12,000 gross sales.