Scorsese's Silence and Ben Affleck's Live By Night bomb at the box office

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Muted… Silence has flopped at the box office – Credit: Paramount

It might have been over two decades in the making, but the box office response to Martin Scorsese’s latest movie ‘Silence’ has been rather muted.

While it cost a relatively modest $40 million (£33 million) to make, it’s made a pretty disastrous $5.5 million (£4.5 million) so far, despite opening on hundreds more screens in the US over the weekend.

Set in Japan in the 17th century, it finds Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver playing two Jesuit priests sent from Portugal to find their missing mentor.

Not quite in the same crowd-pleasing vein as his last movie, the financial romp ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, it’s clearly proved to be a hard sell, though it may still be up for Oscar nominations.

Ben Affleck’s period crime drama ‘Live By Night’, set in prohibition era Boston and Florida, has fared just as badly.

It’s earned just $6 million (£4.9 million) back from its $65 million (£53 million) budget over its opening weekend, a disastrous turnout for the star, who also adapted the screenplay – from a novel by Dennis Lehane – and directed the picture.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

Despite a solid cast, with Affleck joined by Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper, it’s only made $8.9 million (£7.3 million) in all worldwide.

The mixed – to terrible – reviews will not have helped matters.

It boasts a lowly 32% approval rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

Owen Gleiberman in Variety wrote: “It’s like seeing the ghost of a terrific movie: All the pieces are in place, yet as you’re watching it (or thinking back on it afterwards), there doesn’t seem to be quite enough there.”

Eric Kohn on Indiewire added: “Ultimately, Live by Night doesn’t suggest Affleck’s lost his groove so much as that his groove has its limits. Saddled with derivative material, he can’t seem to find a fresh approach.”

“An overcrowded theatrical marketplace has caused high-profile films by two of the most notable directors working today to struggle,” analyst Paul Dergarabedian from comScore told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It may not be so much the fault of studios giving directors with well-earned clout the ability to exercise their creative power, despite obvious commercial limitations, but rather an overwhelming amount of filmed content that has diluted the marketplace pool to the point where unless you have the momentum of a ‘La La Land’, a ‘Moonlight’ or a ‘Manchester by the Sea’, then you are just lost in the shuffle.”

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