It's been going so well for Matthew McConaughey. After years of failing to impress audiences with his romantic comedies and other assorted projects, he's upped his game recently with movies like Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, Interstellar and even Magic Mike. Unfortunately, the McConaissance is starting to hit some bumps in the road. Free State of Jones was a box office disappointment earlier this year, and now McConaughey's latest movie, The Sea of Trees, is bombing hard in theaters.
After debuting at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, The Sea of Trees was finally released on August 26, but only to two theaters. The Wrap is now reporting that the movie has only earned $2,894 as of yesterday, which amounts to a per-theater-average of $1,447. Okay, so if the movie's only being shown in two theaters, it's obviously not going to haul in the big bucks, but considering that it was made on a $25 million budget, this is not a good sign for its future. The Sea of Trees will spread to 101 theaters starting this Labor Day weekend, but it's hard to imagine that this expansion will improve its odds of financial success. The movie is also available to watch through video on demand.
While The Seas of Trees bombing isn't good news for Matthew McConaughey and the rest of the cast and crew, it's definitely not that surprising. After premiering at Cannes last year, it was reportedly booed by the audience afterward finishing. Official reviews followed soon after, and most critics were not kind to it. The movie currently ranks at 8% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes; in other words, it's been almost universally panned. So even though A24 has had better success with other movies this year, like Green Room, The Lobster and Swiss Army Man, The Sea of Trees will almost certainly go down as one of its biggest losses.
Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Chris Sparling, The Sea of Trees is about a man named Arthur Brennan who travels to the "Suicide Forest" near Mount Fuji in Japan to kill himself (that sounds about right). Upon reaching his destination, he meets another man, Takumi Nakamura, played by Ken Watanabe, who also wants to kill himself, and together they go on a "journey of self-reflection and survival." The cast also includes Naomi Watts, Katie Aselton and Jordan Gavaris. Fortunately for McConaughey, his latest summer release, Kubo and the Two Strings, has been a big hit with moviegoers, and his upcoming projects, like Sing and The Dark Tower, should help cover up the blemish that is The Sea of Trees.
If you want to judge The Sea of Trees for yourself, be on the lookout this weekend to see if it will be playing in your area.