The new film by Damien Chazelle, creator of La La Land, is now screening in US theaters. Titled Babylon, this production tells the story of 1920s Hollywood – a time when silent films were beginning to be replaced by sound films.
Chazelle has gathered an all-star cast for the film; they include Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Jean Smart, Tobey Maguire and Samara Weaving.
The show, lasting three hours, had previously received mixed reviews, and now scored an extremely poor opening in theaters.
The past weekend was marked by harsh weather conditions in the US – low temperatures and snow blizzards occurred.
Certainly this was one of the reasons for the low attendance in theaters, however Babylon did exceptionally badly – it earned $5.38 million to date on a budget of $80 million (not including marketing costs).
Whether the film will be helped by the fact that it is one of the titles that count in the awards season remains to be seen.
Also working against it at this point is the relatively low rating from viewers on CinemaScore (C+). The Whitney Houston film biopic did slightly better, with a $10 million and an A score from viewers. Earlier, the analysts had predicted that both films would earn up to $15 million on opening.
All-time high is Avatar: The Way of Water, which topped its score with another $56 million over the weekend and already has $855 million worldwide after 10 days of release.
Positive reviews from Babylon read that Chazelle has created a production that is crazy, savage uncompromising and daring, one that one “falls into” and that is hard to forget.
There are terms that the whole thing is like a dream and works hard on the emotions. Sophia Ciminello of AwardsWatch noted that Babylon and its depicted world is like the other side of La La Land, where the dreams die.
The sets, costumes, music and cast are praised. In contrast, negative reviews have critics writing that Babylon is an over-emphasis on form over substance, Chazelle’s focus is on shocking audiences more than on story, and he doesn’t quite know where the plot is going himself.