The new horror-thriller "mother!" -- starring Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence -- earned itself a relatively rare F CinemaScore, once again highlighting the disconnect between film critics and film goers.
"Mother!" was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who is no stranger to polarizing films, especially "Requiem for a Dream." His new film has a Metascore of 74, which is good, and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 69 percent fresh. It also has a 6.8/10 rating from IMDb users. However, "mother!" only has a RT Audience Score of 42 percent, and now a bargain-basement F CinemaScore.
That F currently standalone, next to the B+ for both "American Assassin" and "IT"; A for "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Leap"; A- for "Dunkirk," "Detroit, "Despicable Me 3," and "Baby Driver"; and B for "Atomic Blonde," "The Dark Tower," and "Annabelle: Creation." Even "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" got a B- CinemaScore.
Previous films earning an F include "Bug," "Solaris," The Box," Dr. T and the Women," "Silent House," "Disaster Movie," "Wolf Creek," and "The Devil Inside." As The Hollywood Reporter noted, films with F grades usually don't overcome the bad word of mouth to make more than $15 million at the domestic box office, but "The Devil Inside" was the exception. That film opened to $33.7 million and earned $53.3 million domestically, and $101.8 million globally.
"Mother!" had the worst wide launch of Jennifer Lawrence's career, earning around $7.5 million from 2,368 locations. But the extreme reactions to the film -- and this F rating, which in some circles is a badge of honor -- may make more fans curious to check it out.
Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, which conducts exit polling, talked to THR about the critics vs. fans reaction to "mother!":
"This is an interesting case of what appears to be a total disconnect between the critics, who have been fairly receptive, and audiences who are collectively giving mother! their unanimous seal of disapproval with some of the lowest audience scores seen for a wide release film. The trailer paints a very strange and purposely equivocal portrait of the film and audiences who may have been expecting one type of movie-going experience got something quite different and have chosen to scold the film with a stunningly low approval rating."
In terms of box office, "mother!" might pick up more overseas. It currently has a foreign intake of $6 million, from six markets, in addition to the $7.5M domestic gross so far. The film reportedly cost about $30 million to make.
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