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The Northman

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[Total: 3 Average: 4.7]
The Northmean
© 2022 United Artists

Title: The Northman
Directed By: Robert Eggers
Written By: Robert Eggers
Release Date: April 22, 2022
Domestic Distributor: Focus Features
Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, NIcole Kidman, Claes Bang
Rated: R for strong bloody violence, some sexual content and nudity.
Genre: Action – LIve action

Box Office Information

  • Budget: ?
  • Financed by: Regency Enterprises, Focus Features, Perfect World Pictures, New Regency, Square Peg
  • Domestic Box Office Gross: $34,233,110
  • Overseas Box Office Gross: $34,667,403

Official Trailer

Box Office Numbers

With a production budget unannounced, a worldwide box office percent is unavailable  for the production budget, The Northman took $34,233,110 domestically and grossed $34,667,403 overseas at the box office.

The Northman played to 3234 theaters and took $12,290,800 (35.9%of total gross) in its opening weekend.

The film played to a total of 3234 theaters domestically and took a domestic share of some 49.7%.

Having ranked 4th in its opening weekend, The Northman held to it at 4 in its second weekend – running for a total of 8 weeks, with an average weekend domestic gross of $34,233,110 based on a 3.9 weeks average run per theater.

The Northman  was released to a total of 57 countries internationally, with the main markets being the United Kingdom with a lifetime gross of $5,702,438, Mexico, with a lifetime gross of $3,111,626, and Spain, lifetime gross of $2,939,132. There was a $0 market in 2 countries opening in 0 theaters at each. 8 more countries opened in under 20 theaters averaging under $7,000 to $36,000. The most remarkable was that Italy in 18 theaters had $1,189,851 gross sales.

Synopsis

In the year 895 A.D., King Aurvandill returns to the island of Hrafnsey, where he is reunited with his wife, Queen Gudrn, and son, Prince Amleth.

The two participate in a spiritual ceremony led by Aurvandill’s fool, Heimir, to prepare Amleth for his eventual ascension.

The following morning, Fjolnir, the vile brother of Aurvandill, kidnaps and murders Gudrn.

Amleth flees in a boat while vowing revenge. At this point the audience is ready to flee with him, as the dim and murky photography makes the Nordic landscape look like beaches and hills made of dandruff. Nobody but Ingmar Bergman has ever been able to bring out the brighter aspects of the Scandinavian landscape and people. Ever since gloomy old Hamlet first took the stage in about 1601 you can’t tell a story about the Scandihoovians without monotonous somberness. 

The passage of some years is denoted by stop action photography of glaciers doing absolutely nothing – since there was no such thing as global warming way back then. During that time lapse Amleth goes berserk – well, not really. He becomes a berserker with a band of roving Vikings. 

A berserker was a Norwegian man who became a whirling dervish while holding his broad sword. He then cuts a bloody swath of warriors like they were so much marshmallow creme. A handy fellow to have around when there’s looting and rapine that needs doing. Berserkers let their hair and beard grow out and would put lighted candles on their helmets, to suggest, no doubt, to the villagers that they would have no more birthdays if they tangled with said berserker. They never bathed and  they ate raw meat and broken glass. 

Why would anyone become a berserker? The groupies.

Anyway, At long last Amleth meets up with Fjornir and they have an old-fashioned holmgang; beating each other’s brains out with cimetars, tennis rackets, battle axes, and halberds. This all takes place near an active volcano, which finally gives the film some vibrant colors and allows the audience to dream of roasting weenies over the hot lava instead of munching on stale popcorn.

The two antagonists manage to kill each other and are wafted up to Valhalla by a valkyrie. Where they discover that the Christian Scientists have gotten there first and turned the ale-drenched feasting hall into a Reading Room. 

Blame it all on Saxo Grammaticus

The critics fell in love with The Northman, but audiences found the movie about as easy to swallow as a dish of lutefisk. So they stayed away in hordes. Even though the script is based on poetic eddas from brainy medieval writers like Saxo Grammaticus.

It’s a basic rule of blockbuster-ology: avoid all long and goofy-sounding names and never let anyone give a speech. Had the movie introduced Hekla – the fiery volcano that is also some kind of god – early in the movie and shown a few virgin maidens tossed into its sulfurous maw, the whole shootin’ match might have clicked with the crowds. But no doom and gloom franchise has yet to bring in the box office bullion needed to justify, let alone finance, a big fat Scandinavian hit.

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