- Directed By: George Clooney
- Written By: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen & George Clooney & Grant Heslov
- Release Date: October 27, 2017
- Domestic Distributor: Paramount
- Cast: Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $22.9 million||Financed by: Black Bear Pictures|
|Domestic Gross: $5,775,178||Overseas Gross: $6,246,437|
The screenplay for Suburbicon was originally written by the Coen brothers in the 1980s and the unproduced script was coming together as a potential collaboration between actor George Clooney and Joel and Ethan Coen directing in the early 2000s. The project never materialized and over a decade later, Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov rewrote the screenplay and Suburbicon went into development. The picture was fully financed by Black Bear Pictures, which is run by the trust fund magnate Teddy Schwarzman, who inherited his fortune from his billionaire father Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone Group.
Bloom handled international sales and before the project would go onto the market for bids, Sony was first interested in handling domestic distribution, but no deal was reached. This very hot property was packaged for sale at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival and sparked numerous bidding wars in many markets. Suburbicon quickly sold out worldwide, landing major deals including Paramount buying domestic distribution for $10 million and Paris-based Metropolitan Filmexport taking rights for $4 million. After pre-sales to dozens of distributors, most of the $25,419,000 gross budget (numbers provided by the California Film Commission) would be covered. Reducing Black Bear’s exposure to the budget even more was the California Film Commission had awarded the movie $2.5 million in rebates, bringing the net budget in at $22.9M.
Paramount first dated Suburbicon for November 3 and then shifted it forward a week to October 27, where it would be apart of the studio’s late year potential awards fare. The Venice Film Festival was the first stop for this prestige project, which turned out to be a mess of a film and it was met with mostly poor reviews. The trailer cut by the studio had all traces of the movie’s poorly handled racism subplot removed in way of wacky murder hijinks committed by Matt Damon and the film appeared stuck in a commercial deadzone — too over the top and quirky for general auds and too vapid and poorly reviewed for anyone interested in this sort of dark satire.
Paramount did invest into an expensive marketing campaign for Suburbicon, but tracking was pointing to a poor $8 million opening. It bowed against Jigsaw and Thank You For Your Service and was dead on arrival with $2,840,246 — placing #9 for the slow weekend led by Jigsaw. Audiences hated the movie and gave it a rare D- cinemascore — a massive improvement from Paramount’s previous release mother! which landed a F. The film took a second weekend 58.3% nosedive to $1,185,036 and then promptly lost most of its theater count. Suburbicon was pulled from release after just three weeks with a miserable box office cume of $5,775,178.
Suburbicon was a non-performer overseas, with a dreadful $6.2M in theatrical receipts. Less than two months after this trainwreck opened, Matt Damon and Paramount struck out with the more expensive flop Downsizing.