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Title: Unhinged
Directed By: Derrick Borte
Written By: Carl Ellsworth
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Domestic Distributor: Solstice Studios
Cast: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson, Austin P. McKenzie
Rated: R
Genre: Action Thriller


Box Office Information

  • Budget: $33 Million
  • Financed by: Solstice Studios
  • Domestic Box Office Gross: $20,831,465
  • Overseas Box Office Gross: $22,418,000


On an otherwise uneventful day, Rachel is running late for work when she has an altercation with a stranger at a traffic light.

Determined to teach her a series of deadly lessons, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of an unstable man who feels powerless and invisible.

There follows a dangerous game of cat and mouse that shows that you never know how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged.

Official Trailer



It is perhaps no accident that Russell Crowe was chosen for the lead in this 2020 flop produced by Burek Films.

Known for the occasional altercation himself, it’s usually hoverboards and airplanes that get his temper flaring.

Crowe made the movie off the back of the 2019 film, True History of the Kelly Gang ($467,198 worldwide, with a fractional $33,817 domestically), – an exploration of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. Crowe only has a small cameo in that film, but it appears he didn’t spend quite long enough in the outback after all!

In Unhinged, Crowe plays lead Tom Cooper, a mentally unstable man, who, like many of us, feels powerless in the modern world.

Bad choices abound and an orgy of violence ensues.

Billed as the movie to finally reopen theaters – shuttered due to COVID – Unhinged was originally intended for a July 1, 2020, opening. Somewhat optimistic. It eventually hit screens on August 21 in the United States – having been released in Germany earlier on July 16.

Scriptwriter Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Red Eye acclaim) perhaps got the sentiment right in the malaise surrounding the COVID pandemic. The film feels like an anthem for the disenfranchised – despite the obvious overtones and exaggerations.

You can almost hear the strained muffles from beneath facemasks as the excitement comes to a crescendo.

Unhinged Box Office Numbers

Production took place in the summer of 2019 in Kenner and New Orleans, Louisiana, and was a wrap by September.

Perhaps by way of testing the waters, the film began a premium video-on-demand release on October 20 – only 61 days after it arrived in theaters.

A welcome addition in an otherwise limited-release-schedule.

International release followed on July 16 in Germany, and subsequently in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2020.

In Canada, Unhinged was released by VVS Films later that November.

The film grossed 1.4 million dollars from 1,823 theatres on its first day – with 4 million over that first weekend.

Interestingly, the top-5 venues on opening weekend were all drive-ins. Increased ticket sales were seen by many as an indication of an industry moving forward. Studio bosses were said to be ‘pleased with the results…’

With moviegoing habits broken during the pandemic, Unhinged offered a small ray of sunshine.

The demographics tell a story – with 71% of the audience over the age of 25, and 56% being male.

The Hollywood Reporter seemed to be in tune with the audience, and was equally enthusiastic about the film:

“Any movie that casts Russell Crowe as a hulking great slab of thin-skinned, two-fisted, short-fuse machismo has got to be aiming a self-aware wink at its target audience.”

Considering the international numbers, the film grossed $37,321,536 worldwide – with almost half of that from overseas – $16,490,071.

Domestic DVD & Blu-ray sales added a further $2,034,269 (estimated).

Other markets included, Australia ($1.24 million gross), Germany ($877,000), the Netherlands ($597,000), the United Kingdom ($575,000), New Zealand ($193,000), and Russia ($124,000).

Unhinged held the top spot in Australia & the United Kingdom the following weekend, with an international running total of $7.7 million.

The $33,000,000 budget means that after taking a percentage of the gross, the lion’s share of the P&A costs would still be in the red. With ancillary costs factored in as well, the film’s loss will undoubtedly exceed the budget.

It’s a Wrap

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer gives Unhinged a not-so-impressive 48% based on 201 reviews. With a rather inconsistent (but better) Audience Score of 77%.

Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, Richard Crouse seems to be on message:

“As a study of an emasculated man seeking revenge it brings to mind Falling Down, Michael Douglas’ 1993 black comedy, except Unhinged is all darkness and no comedy.”

Taking the Coronavirus pandemic into account, Unhinged did provide something of an uptick for moviegoers in otherwise miserable times.

Burek & Solstice were likely not overly enthused when the final numbers were in.

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