Things were looking grim early on for the new Matthew McConaughey movie “The Sea of Trees.”
It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and was flooded with boos during the end credits.
Then shortly after, for unknown reasons – though you can take a guess – its US distributors, Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate, backed out of releasing the movie. Not exactly a good sign.
A24, which has been on a great streak in its four-year existence and always has an eye out for unique stories – “Spring Breakers,” “Ex Machina,” “Room,” “The Lobster” – ultimately nabbed “The Sea of Trees.”
But the company wasn’t able to weave any magic with it.
With only an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the latest movie from the usually acclaimed director Gus Van Sant – “Milk,” “Good Will Hunting” – isn’t getting any breaks.
Starring McConaughey as a man contemplating death in the woods, it’s ironically suffering a quick death at the box office. It’s taken in only over $2,800 in its first week in theaters.
A24 obviously knew that it wasn’t going to pull off a miracle. The company did almost no marketing for the movie and released it in only two theaters, where it had an average per-screen earning of $939 – not a good figure for any size of release.
In the end, however, no one will get hurt too badly from this forgettable movie. A24 is focused on the four titles that it has playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off next week.
Van Sant is focused on producing and directing the miniseries “When We Rise,” about the gay-rights movement, and McConaughey is working off the 40 pounds he gained for his next movie, “Gold” – out on Christmas Day – which is gathering Oscar talk.
Business Insider reached out to A24 for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.