A History of Wes Anderson at the Box Office, From ‘Bottle Rocket’ to ‘Budapest Hotel’

A History of Wes Anderson at the Box Office, From 'Bottle Rocket' to 'Budapest Hotel'

No one can open an limited release like Wes Anderson. His last 6 films have all debuted on a handful of screens to per-theater-averages north of $55,000. On the list of all-time best per-theater-averages, Wes Anderson has 6 titles in the top 75. That’s nearly 10% of the entire list for one filmmaker — a truly incredible feat. And one somehow topped by this weekend’s debut of his latest film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which with a whopping $200,000 per-theater-average easily became the best limited debut for a live action film ever.

It is notable that not all of Anderson’s films made good on their initial per-theater-averages. Of his 7 previous films, only two — “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Moonrise Kingdom” — ended up becoming full-fledged box office hits, while the others varied from modest successes (“Rushmore”) to disappointments based on their budgets (“The Life Aquatic,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox”). And while it would be a big surprise if “Budapest Hotel” fell from that opening weekend grace to become any kind of disappointment, it seems like a trip down Wes Anderson-at-the-box-office memory lane would still be an interesting one as his latest film heads into expansion.

So in order of release date, here’s a history of Wes Anderson at the box office (with bolded numbers suggesting the record holders):

Bottle Rocket (1996)
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Budget: $7,000,000
Opening Weekend: $124,118 from 49 theaters ($4,323 per-theater-average)
Final North American Gross: $560,069
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $1,058,000

Rushmore (1998)
Distributor: Touchstone
Budget: $20,000,000
Opening Weekend: $43,666 from 2 theaters ($21,833 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $17,105,219
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $28,115,900

The Royal Tenenbaums (2000)
Distributor: Touchstone
Budget: $21,000,000
Opening Weekend: $276,891 from 5 theaters ($55,396 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $52,364,010
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $75,375,900

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
Distributor: Touchstone
Budget: $50,000,000
Opening Weekend: $113,085 from 2 theaters ($56,542 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $24,020,403
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $31,725,300

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Budget: $17,500,000
Opening Weekend: $134,938 from 2 theaters ($67,469 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $11,902,715
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $14,432,900   

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Budget: $40,000,000
|Opening Weekend: $265,900 from 4 theaters ($66,475 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $21,002,919
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $22,934,600

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Distributor: Focus Features
Budget: $16,000,000
Opening Weekend: $522,996 from 4 theaters ($130,749 PTA)
Final North American Gross: $45,512,466
Final North American Gross Adjusted For Inflation*: $48,238,500   

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Budget: Number not yet released.
Opening Weekend: $800,000 from 4 theaters ($200,000 PTA)
Final North American Gross: To be determined, but with that opening (Wes’s best) anything under $30 million would be both surprising and disappointing.

*-Adjusted to reflect 2014 inflation.

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Comments

adda

I heard that Grand Budapest's was around 23 million euros.. And if you are gonna adjust gross for inflation you should do the same with the budget

cost benefit

why not include the international gross with domestic?

cumulative totals:

rushmore: $17M
royal tenenbaums: $71M
life aquatic: $34M
darjeeling: $35M
mr. fox: $46M
moonrise: $68M

and budapest hotel is exploding overseas right now.

On balance is anyone getting rich on Wes' films? Not with Marketing costs. Though ancillaries are no doubt strong, are they perennial? Either way, on balance, Wes isn't a complete wipe out, either.

also if you're doing a cost/earnings comparison, adjust the budget for inflation.

ZISOU

How about 5 of his first 6 movies made lost about a hundred million dollars. I know he's a genius and all but shit, talk about failing upward. Thank god for the long tail. If he were anybody else he'd be in director jail for eternity.

Sage

Wow, I think Wes is a really great director and he deserved this.

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