Many different metrics must be considered when determining whether a movie is a success, but earning a CinemaScore of "F" is typically an indicator that a movie is a disappointment, at least to audiences. The Jennifer Lawrence-starring mother! earned itself the disastrous grade this weekend, something the film's studio, Paramount Pictures, refuses to accept as
“This movie is very audacious and brave,” Paramount’s worldwide president of marketing and distribution Megan Colligan said in a statement, per IndieWire. “You are talking about a director at the top of his game, and an actress at the top her game. They made a movie that was intended to be bold. Everyone wants original filmmaking, and everyone celebrates Netflix when they tell a story no one else wants to tell. This is our version. We don’t want all movies to be safe. And it’s okay if some people don’t like it.”
The critical reception of the film has been mixed-to-positive, sitting at 68% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. While mother!'s marketing materials have mostly portrayed the film as a traditional home invasion horror film, the actual product is far from.
A CinemaScore is derived from surveys conducted with audience members leaving a screening, so for a film to get an "F" isn't necessarily indicative of the actual product, so much as disappointment with the overall experience.
Director Darren Aronofsky has been quite candid about the allegorical nature of the film, which necessitates a dissection after viewing, resulting in not only mixed reactions of the final product, but also frustrations at not seeing a thriller starring one of Hollywood's most acclaimed actresses.
Traditionally, a film this ambitious and challenging would typically receive a limited theatrical opening, only to expand wide after proving to be a success, but Paramount showed their faith in the feature, which debuted on over 2,500 screens.
mother! is in theaters now.
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