Boyhood: The "Tremendous Risk" That Came Good at This Weekend's Box Office
While 'Apes' was pulling in the big bucks, 'Boyhood' made history
The box office was dominated by big budget blockbusters this weekend: Dawn of The Planet of The Apes finally usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction’s dominance at the top of the pile. But the real evolution story was told in Boyhood, as Mason became a young man and Richard Linklater proved his worth as one of the most of innovative auteurs working in cinema today.
Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater star in Boyhood
Linklater’s scripted coming of age movie, shot intermittently over 12 years using the same actors (Ellar Coltrane, Lorelie Linklater, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) indulges in the familiarity of domestic life. As we see the characters grow emotionally (via Linklaters incredibly relatable and organic screenplay) and physically (via simple biology – something Linklater managed to turn into a cinematic tool) we relate to the ostensibly forgettable nuances of childhood and adulthood, culminating in an intensely watchable modern masterpiece.
A strong social media campaign and work of mouth – increased exponentially by the incredible reviews (100% on Rotten Tomatoes, don’t you know) – saw Boyhood perform strongly on its opening weekend. It didn’t pull in the “Apes” bucks, but grossed $359,000 from just five screens over the weekend during its initial limited release. A per-screen average of $71,800 represented sell-outs in N.Y and L.A, which certainly bodes well for a wider market opening this weekend.
For this, great credit goes to Jonathan Sehring, whose IFC Films financed “Boyhood” and released the film. “Looking back, it seemed like a tremendous risk. But at that time when we sat down, it seemed like an obvious easy yes,” explained Sehring, according to The L.A Times. “It came prior to our company greenlighting ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’. It’s all about embracing great storytelling. Everything could have gone wrong, and nothing did. Everybody had the same goal and the same vision and the same passion. And that all goes back to [Linklater].”
Planet of The Apes grossed $73m on opening weekend - an impressive debut