This past weekend the film Everest opened wide at the box office, expanding from its limited release in IMAX theaters last week, to more than 3000 screens nationwide this week. There were some predictions that indicated the film would pull in big money, luring in theater goers with its well known cast (Josh Brolin, Kiera Knightly, Jake Gyllenhaal), beautiful cinematography, and compelling story. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the move ended up underperforming at the box-office.
For the weekend, Everest ended up pulling in just over $13 million, which put it in fourth place overall, and well behind the top grossing film Hotel Transylvania 2, which earned $47.5 million. That bring’s Everest’s total gross to date to about $23.1 million so far, which is well below what the filmmakers behind the project had hoped for.
The movie had a budget of $55 million, which means after two weekends in theaters it hasn’t even reached the halfway point of making that money back yet. Conventional wisdom generally says that a film must make three times its budget to be considered successful. That’s because the budget doesn’t take into account marketing costs, and theaters showing the film will get a slice of the action too of course.
That said, Everest is likely to at least break even when you take into account rentals, as well as DVD and digital sales of the film. But sadly, this probably means we won’t be seeing Hollywood rush to make any more mountaineering films anytime soon. Despite having a few flaws, this was one of the better movies I’ve seen in terms of getting the climbing aspects of the film right. After seeing it last week on an IMAX screen, I had hoped that we might see a other mountaineering flicks in the same vein. That is to say, films that told a good story, featured amazing cinematography, and treated the source material with respect. That could still happen, but in the copy-cat world of Hollywood that doesn’t seem likely considering the low numbers for Everest at the box office.
If you have any interest in seeing the film, I’d urge you to try to catch it soon. Its box-office earnings are only likely to drop off further from here, which means it will start to be removed from screens, and have fewer showings probably as early as next week. The fall movie season is typically a slow one however, so chance are it’ll hang around for a bit. Still, the movie industry is a fickle one, and when a film doesn’t do well, theaters are quick to cut their losses and move on.
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