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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 Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel now shares the honor of being its auteur’s 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 film’s success, like any good big budget blockbuster, has been its overseas gross – which is at 62% of the film’s total take. (Which is behind The Darjeeling Limited’s 66% figure.)
So what’s to be learned from this success story? One way to look at it is that Wes Anderson’s long climb to mass appeal has made it to the top, which isn’t 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 that’s pretty much cancelled out by the mass market success of The Fantastic Mr. Fox.) Another angle is that since Anderson opened this film’s 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. It’s 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
The Grand Budapest Hotel is currently playing in theaters near you.