‘The Goldfinch’ Belly-Flop: What Went Wrong at the Box Office

  • Indiewire
‘The Goldfinch’ Belly-Flop: What Went Wrong at the Box Office
The scale of “The Goldfinch” opening weekend fiasco overshadowed the reality. Making it a success at the box office was always going to be a long shot for Warner Bros. The adaptation of the Donna Tartt bestseller almost landed in the lowest-20 grossing titles opening in over 2,000 theaters. Its $2.7 million gross ranks with the worst performances ever for a film of its pedigree.

But that pedigree lessened its chances of becoming a hit. With a $45-million budget, a global marketing campaign took the bottom line north of $100 million. With openings in a few countries showing little initial strength, the worldwide theatrical take could struggle to get to $25 million. With Amazon holding streaming rights and a one-third stake, returns to the studio are reduced.

This debacle is bad news for any studio executives pushing for non-franchise content. In five weeks time, Warner Bros. released three original standalones: “The Kitchen,” “Blinded By the Light,
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