The Grand Budapest Hotel Is Wes Anderson's Most Successful Film Yet

By Mike Reyes 2 years agodiscussion comments
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When The Grand Budapest Hotel broke the limited release record for the highest grossing opening weekend, it was only a sign of things to come. The film has thrilled critics and fans for over a month now, and has made a big enough splash to possibly be remembered come awards season this fall. Much like Martin Scorseseís The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel now shares the honor of being its auteurís highest grossing film.

Variety has confirmed that the film has passed the $100 million level, signifying the grandest grossing for an Anderson picture. (The title was previously held by The Royal Tenenbaums, which earned $71 million in its 2001-2002 worldwide release.) A key factor to his filmís success, like any good big budget blockbuster, has been its overseas gross Ė which is at 62% of the filmís total take. (Which is behind The Darjeeling Limitedís 66% figure.)

So whatís to be learned from this success story? One way to look at it is that Wes Andersonís long climb to mass appeal has made it to the top, which isnít too much of a stretch considering how long his films have been around and how good of a reputation they have maintained. (The Darjeeling Limited seems to be the only one anyone seems to have massive criticism for, and thatís pretty much cancelled out by the mass market success of The Fantastic Mr. Fox.) Another angle is that since Anderson opened this filmís scope to include a more international cast and story, the marketing appeal in other countries has been better spread across the world. After all, his previous films did have a mostly "Americana meets European New Wave" feel to them, which only gets you half way to the audiences across the world.

Whichever way you look at it, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a big deal in the world of Wes Anderson. Itís a sign that his unique vision and style have found a successful niche to occupy, and that his style has finally made itself a fully integrated part of the filmmaking landscape of today. No longer is he the outsider at Touchstone who landed a young, untested lead and Bill Murray to anchor his first big studio film. This filmís success will either serve to reinforce his current mode of thought or to embolden him to do something even more different and out there. Whatever path he may choose to embark on from this point, you have to admit that the manís earned it. After all, you know youíve arrived when SNL launches an effective parody of your style as a gag.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is currently playing in theaters near you.
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