David O. Russell’s Amsterdam has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The star-studded affair is reportedly poised to lose $100 million for 20th Century Studios.


Amsterdam is set around the Business Plot of 1933, a political conspiracy that involved various high-powered individuals to assassinate the President at the time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and install a dictator in his place. Included in the cast are actors such as Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Chris Rock, John David Washington, and Anya Taylor-Joy. Russell appeared to hope that the film would replicate the success of American Hustle, which also starred many high-profile stars and took in a decent box office haul.

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According to Deadline, Amsterdam was originally projected to make $12-16 million in its opening weekend. With a budget of $80 million, it’s a fine box office, but not outstanding. In reality, the film made a paltry $6.5 million at the box office. This means that the film is now expected to lose $100 million for the studio (a figure which includes marketing and other expenses in addition to the film’s budget). In comparison with other recently released films such as Smile, which had a $17 million budget and made $22 million in its opening weekend, Amsterdam is a huge disappointment for 20th Century Studios.

A $100 million loss would make it one of the biggest box-office bombs of all time. It should be noted that that is only a projected tally, however. Projected tallies are not infallible, as can be seen with Amsterdam‘s projected tally for its opening weekend. The only way for the film to recoup its budget now would be for it to have extremely long legs in theaters, which is somewhat unlikely. It’s a ‘prestige’ film, which aren’t normally high-earners at the box office.

Why audiences have stayed away from Amsterdam has yet to be studied, but the controversies surrounding director Russell probably played some part in the dismal box office. There have been numerous sexual assault allegations against the director, and allegations that he mistreats the actors in his films. It is possible that those who would be invested in a film such as Amsterdam are more likely to be aware of such controversies and therefore less likely to want to see the film. Amsterdam was probably never destined to do phenomenal box office numbers, but for any type of ‘prestige’ film, receiving bad press can seriously hurt its chances.

Amsterdam is now in theaters.

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Source: Deadline

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