Lucy In The Sky

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  • Directed By: Noah Hawley
  • Written By: Brian C. Brown, Elliott DiGuiseppi, Noah Hawley
  • Release Date: October 4, 2019
  • Domestic Distributor: Fox Searchlight
  • Cast: Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Dan Stevens, Ellen Burstyn

Box Office Info:
Budget: $21,422,000Financed by: Fox Searchlight; TSG Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $319,976Overseas Box Office: Still in release

lucy in the sky 2019
Fox Searchlight acquired the Lucy In The Sky spec script with Reese Witherspoon attached in the lead role in May 2015.  The project began to move forward in February 2017, when Noah Hawley (TV series creator of Fargo & Legion) was signed by Searchlight to direct two features for the specialty label and his big screen directorial debut would be Lucy In The Sky.

Reese Witherspoon left the project in November 2017 to rejoin the cast of the second season of Big Little Lies and Natalie Portman was then cast.  The gross budget for Lucy In The Sky was $27,033,000 and after a $5,611,000 rebate from the state of California, the net cost of the picture was $21,422,000.  Fox Searchlight financed and received some coin from FOX’s slate investor TSG Entertainment.

Lucy In The Sky was positioned as a potential awards player and dated for October 4, 2019 and the film was set to premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.  The prestige film landed awful reviews at TIFF, killing off any award hype and placing it in a commercial dead zone.  The story, which was a loose retelling of astronaut Lisa Nowak — who after spending 13 days in space, went bananas back on earth, put on a diaper and drove across the country to kidnap her lover’s lover.  The film inexplicably removed the diaper wearing from the narrative, which was what made this bizarre story infamous in the first place and what was expected to be a strange black comedy was just a stilted drama.

Searchlight booked it into 37 theaters and planned on a nationwide expansion over the upcoming weeks.  Lucy In The Sky opened with a miserable $54,058 and a $1,461 per screen average.  The following weekend the location count was expanded to 198 and it posted $78,451 with a truly dreadful $396 per screen average for the weekend.  Lets break that per screen average down — which averages out to $132 per day.  With four showings per day, that’s $33 per screening (2 people).  The third weekend had the theater count rise to 231 and those unlucky exhibitors who previously inked a deal with Searchlight to screen this movie nobody wanted to see, saw even worse results.  Lucy posted $55,396 with a $239 per screen average and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  It was pulled from release after 4 weeks with only $319,976 in theatrical receipts.

A few overseas markets are set to open at the end of 2019 and throughout 2020, though after the stateside run, it remains to be seen if it will land a theatrical run in those countries.  If any overseas numbers post, this will be updated…

2 Comments

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  1. If there has been a scene where Natalie Portman has to act like she was using an astronaut diaper while driving to kidnap her boyfriend’s new girlfriend, there would have been about a 100% greater chance of me seeing this movie.

    Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), 100% times 0% is still %0.

  2. After winning the Academy Award for ‘Black Swan’, Natalie Portman’s career declined over the next 10 years. Oscar baits, indie films no one watched …

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