It’s been a rough old ride for Jane Got A Gun. Not only was its production and development blighted by director Lynn Ramsay dropping out, but its cast was chopped and changed on a worryingly regular basis. But, almost four years after Natalie Portman originally signed on to star as its titular gunslinger, Jane Got A Gun finally made it the big-screens over the weekend. It turns out that it shouldn’t have bothered, though. Because its box office response has been so bad that it’s now posted the worst wide release opening ever for a Weinstein Company release.
Jane Got A Gun was released on 1200 screens across the USA, but it still only pulled in $803,000. According to Box Office Mojo, Jane Got A Gun ranks 82/120 out of the studio’s releases. It also means that the Western has a long way to go to come anywhere near the $25 million that the studio splashed out on it. But it’s highly unlikely to even get a chance to do just that, because The Weinstein Company probably won't prolong its stay in cinemas for too much longer.
While Jane Got A Gun was hardly a critical darling - it currently has a rating of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes - the response wasn’t completely abhorrent. In fact, having reviewed it on Friday, while it badly sags in the middle, it starts and ends rather strongly and it’s always enjoyably to sit and appreciate the Western landscape.
Unfortunately, Jane Got A Gun never really stood much of a chance of success, though. After originally appearing on the 2011 Black List, the annual list of the most popular unproduced screenplays, Natalie Portman soon decided that it was the perfect vehicle for her.
At the time, that meant excitement for Jane Got A Gun was immediately generated. Not only was Natalie Portman fresh off her Oscar triumph for Black Swan, while she'd also just starred in Thor, but Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, and We Need To Talk About Kevin) was hired to direct too.
But, since originally signing on, Natalie Portman has more or less put her career on hold, only appearing in a handful of roles over four and half years, as she has focused on starting a family. Plus, Lynne Ramsay dropped out, which instigated Jane Got A Gun’s cast to change exponentially, too.
Because of these production issues, Jane Got A Gun’s reputation soon plummeted. When it wasn’t screened for press, and was only promoted with indifference, its fate was secured. Those of you who want to see if Jane Got A Gun is really as bad as its box office suggests can still head to their local cinemas to do so. But be quick. Because it probably won’t be there for much longer.