Did You See Matthew McConaughey’s New Movie? Welp, Neither Did Anyone Else Because It’s Only Made $3,000
I could watch Matthew McConaughey cook an egg. There is not much he could do that I wouldn’t be interested in catching a peek of. And I’m only talking about new McConaughey. The old rom-com McConaughey doesn’t exist to me. I’m talking about everything post-True Detective and Mud.
Despite my near insatiable appetite for all things McConaughey, I was completely in the dark about this new film he starred in called Sea of Trees. And, apparently, so was literally everyone else, since it’s only made $3,000 since it’s premiere.
“Matthew McConaughey is an A-list movie star who won a Best Actor Academy Award in 2014 for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe are themselves top-tier Hollywood actors. And Gus Van Sant is one of America’s most distinctive directors, having earned two Oscar nominations for Best Director (for Good Will Hunting and Milk) and the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for 2003’s Elephant. So it’s amazing that together they produced The Sea of Trees, a cornball indie drama that during its first week of domestic release, managed to earn less than $3,000 at the box office.
Van Sant’s latest concerns a suicidal professor (McConaughey) who heads off into the Japanese forest of the title that’s infamous as a place where people kill themselves. There, he meets an injured Japanese businessman (Watanabe), all while flashbacks reveal the strained relationship with his wife (Watts) that drove him to consider taking his own life. With a reported production budget of $25 million, The Sea of Trees — playing in two theaters last week — has averaged only $1,447 per theater, a dismal showing. (It’s expanding to more theaters and is available on VOD platforms.
The reason behind this catastrophic release isn’t too difficult to deduce — no matter its illustrious talent, The Sea of Trees is a dreadfully obvious, quasi-mystical slog. The fact that it has an 8 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes is stunning mostly because it means that three reviewers actually found positive things to say (albeit not yours truly). More surprising still is that the film was even picked up by A24 for distribution, given that when it premiered at 2015’s Cannes Film Festival, it was roundly booed at the first press screening and savaged by the critics in attendance, including Yahoo Movies.”
So hot take: Yahoo is not a fan of this film. Honestly, three grand is bananas. I think I could probably make more money by charging people to watch me use a staple gun to stick my foot to a UPS truck. Though, in defense of the critics, that movie sounds about as entertaining as two slugs making love. (Disclaimer: I do not know whether or not slugs have dicks. I’m simply assuming.) I mean, I guess these guys got paid well, but I’m not sure with what money. It’s not a good look when you make 12% of your budget back. That’s like one of the worst investment returns of all time. If I were McConaughey, I think I would have rather it made no money, then at least I could tell people about the time I starred in a movie that was so bad even I couldn’t save it. It’s a humblebrag and also it’s a great way to keep the conversation about you. You can’t pick Hollywood socialites if no one’s talking about you. I did the math, it’s not possible.