When you think of the pandemic’s most successful movies, ones that have gone on to break records by the standards of the time, it’s always going to be big budget and effects-driven blockbusters that come to mind.
Godzilla vs. Kong, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Fast & Furious 9, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die and Dune have all toppled various milestones throughout their respective theatrical runs, but a major benchmark was just set by the decidedly more low-key Wes Anderson.
Audiences have been fairly starved of worthwhile content in general over the last year and a half, so spare a thought for the poor arthouse crowd that have had virtually nothing of note worth making the trip to a theater for. Independent exhibitors have been waiting a long time for The French Dispatch, then, and the film has repaid their faith in kind.
As per Deadline, Anderson’s latest idiosyncratic dramatic comedy scooped $1.3 million over the weekend, for a per-screen average of over $25,000, far and away the highest total of the pandemic. None of the industry’s $200 million behemoths came close to matching those numbers despite many of them debuting on 4000 screens or more, so it’s yet another notch in the belt for Anderson’s reputation and wide-ranging appeal.