mother! Got the Worst-Possible Grade a Film Can Receive

Posted 2017/09/16 0 0

Yes, it got a "F" on CinemaScore!


CinemaScore, which has been polling and tracking US audience reactions to major cinema releases since the late '70s, has come back with the lowest possible rating for Darren Aronofsky's horror parable, mother!. By contrast, the weekend’s other major new release, the adaptation of late author Vince Flynn’s counter-terrorism novel American Assassin, scored a “B+,” which is on par with the weekend’s project No. 1 film, the adaptation of Stephen King’s horror thriller IT, which also earned a “B+.”

mother! had a positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes (69 percent of critics gave the film a positive review), but audiences revolted against Aronofsky’s film, which mixes broad religious allegory with home-invasion horror and ends with a sequence of shocking, R-rated violence. The overall rejection might have something to do with how the film was marketed, as CinemaScore founder Ed Mintz explained in a 2016 interview about his company.

“A’s generally are good, B’s generally are shaky, and C’s are terrible. D’s and F’s, they shouldn’t have made the movie, or they promoted it funny and the absolute wrong crowd got into it,” he said.

Paramount has been in this situation before with 2012’s The Devil Inside which also earned an F (in fact that year had two more F grade films: the Brad Pitt gangster pic Killing Them Softly and Open Road’s Silent House). But with Devil Inside, Paramount was able to buck the audience reaction on that $1M budgeted genre pic and make loads of cash with a $33.7M opening, final domestic $53.3M and global of $101.8M. Many attribute that win to a massive TV spot spend. Mother! is a different beast at a reported $30M before P&A (some believe it’s much higher: Lawrence is known to get $15M alone with actors like Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer earning $3M-$5M each).

Have you seen mother!, and if so, what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!