Fantastic Mr. Fox Box Office

If what's happening, is what I think is better not be.

We’ll let indieWire break it…

The only truly disappointing development this weekend was the expansion of Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”  After two weekends of scorching per-theater-averages on 4 screens, the film – a stop-motion animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl book – went to 2,033 theaters and fell short of its initial promise.  “Mr. Fox” grossed $7,020,000 over the 3-day weekend, and $9,499,685 over the 5-day, averaging a less-than-fantastic $3,453 and $4,673, respectively.  While it has already nearly outgrossed Anderson’s last film, “The Darjeeling Limited,” its family-friendly appeal and potent limited release suggested even greater things.  Instead, the likes of “Old Dogs” and “Ninja Assassin” found much greater per-theater-averages.


On the plus side, Fantastic Mr. Fox has garnered Wes the best reviews of his career. The film is currently holding an 83 at Metacritic and a 92 at Rotten Tomatoes, the best scores he’s received from either of those review aggregating sites.

The only thing to do now is to tell your cussing friends.

7 Replies to “Fantastic Mr. Fox Box Office”

  1. After seeing those soul-crushing numbers this morning, I took the time to average the box office numbers of Wes’s films, which are as follows:

    Bottle Rocket (1996)
    Budget: $7 mil
    Gross: $1.5 mil

    Rushmore (1998)
    Budget: $20 mil
    Gross: $17 mil

    The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
    Budget: $21 mil
    Gross: $52 mil ($71 mil worldwide)

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
    Budget: $50 mil
    Gross: $24 mil ($35 mil worldwide)

    The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
    Budget: $17.5 mil
    Gross: $12 mil ($35 mil worldwide)

    Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
    Budget: $40 mil
    Gross: ?

    This adds up to an average loss of $9 million per film in the U.S., or a profit of $8.9 internationally. (Only Royal Tenenbaums made a profit in the U.S.) While this has to be depressing as a director, it’s encouraging for us fans–fiscal disappointment hasn’t stopped Wes before, and it certainly shouldn’t now. Fantastic Mr. Fox is performing about as well as any of his films have.

    What’s more depressing is what beat the Fox at the box office. Why, America? Why?

  2. To me it’s performing like a Wes Anderson film. As broad as the film seems, it’s also pretty cussing weird, and I think people are turned off by the strangeness of it, unfortunately.

    But hey, don’t let me stop you from that movie where people get hit in the groin and cradled by gorillas. Have at it.

  3. Aww, you gave up that easy. The 23M first week gross actually surpassed my expectations. Just needs 7 to break-even, haha.
    Two words – awful trailer. A lot of people I know were turned off by the orangey tone of the film and the Danny Oceanesque voice of Mr. Fox. To them, the trailer says it all, and they are resolved not to see it.
    Also, after a series of awesome CG animations from Pixar, the old fashioned stopmotion is kinda difficult to digest. That’s why Astro boy had a new look when it was released for US viewers. Many of my friends who saw FMF, however, prefer it over Coraline, the sleek stop-motion/CG/3D release. It was pretty courageous for Wes not to utilize CG though.

  4. In the midst of crappy vampire movies and lame ninja films, it’s really no surprise that this wonderfully/beautifully made movie would not be as popular. The majority of people want to see movies that suck because those movies have the biggest budgets. For example, out of the three movies I saw over this Thanksgiving holiday (New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Blindside and The Informant) it’s obvious which one was the best.

    But I hope the movie continues to do better at the box office. I know I plan on seeing it at least 2 more times in the theater.

  5. Actually, Blind Side and Old Dogs both had smaller budgets than FMF ($29 and $35 million, respectively). I would argue that people just want to see movies that suck.

    That, and the marketing was awful. I walked into Barnes and Noble and saw tables full of Sherlock Holmes and Wild things tie-in books. Mr. Fox, however, was stuck in a lonely little corner of the children’s section with the rest of the Dahl books. Some Fox Searchlight bigwig must have had a personal vendetta against this movie…

  6. The Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite movie of all time and even I almost skipped out on this one. I assumed it was a movie for children and only watched it because I was riding home on my motorcycle and it started pouring rain right when I was passing the theater. I pulled in to see what was playing and the only competition was Ninjas Assassin and 2012.

    Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this movie was child-friendly, but definitely not made with children in mind. Unfortunately, I have a feeling most people still possess my initial assumptions about this movie.

    Marketing fail?

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