Yep, it was in 3,336 theaters, stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz (among myriad other names), was directed by Ridley Scott and written by celebrated American author Cormac McCarthy, but 20th Century Fox‘s “The Counselor” flopped despite all that star power. We can’t say we’re totally surprised. Sure, it had the now infamous catfish scene, cheetahs, a terribly awful (or terribly good) Cameron Diaz as an evil black widow with cheetah tattoos, drug deals, beheadings, and more sordidness, but Scott’s film—a blisteringly dark, acidic poem about fate, greed and the way we communicate—was just too arty and talky for mainstream audiences (and perhaps too mainstream for the arthouse).
It took in a D Cinemascore rating (which is better than the F many critics predicted), and will come in at #4 with a measly $7.5-ish million when the final box-office tallies arrive this afternoon (and you could try and lay blame at the lack of leading man star power in Fassbender, but you’d be wrong). More in the box-office report later, but it’s almost a shame. In theory, “The Counselor” is a project cinephiles were all anticipating, and it’s ideally the type of project we want major studios to be making. But so monologue-heavy, overt and repetitive in its themes, and barely containing a character anyone could give a damn about, again, it’s not really a shock that audiences didn’t cotton to McCathy’s script which is beautiful on paper and awkward to hear aloud in practice (many of the characters sound the same, too, all with their dark philosophical bent on the ugliness of human nature or what’s coming around the corner that everyone but the clueless protagonist can see). It’s a movie one wants to support in theory because it’s made for adults, but one can’t really argue with someone who complains the picture is a lot of fateful, on-the-nose poetry signifying a whole lot of nothing (how many times can they tell this guy he’s going to fail and/or he’s now fucked?).
All this is a long-winded way of saying, discuss your thoughts on “The Counselor” below, plus, if you’re so inclined, check out this new clip about a wicked weapon in the movie. “The Counselor” is in theaters now. A couple new photos below too.