Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Nightmare Alley disappointed at the box-office in its opening weekend, only grossing $3 million on a $60 million budget, ScreenRant reports. The star-studded film seemed to please critics but failed to attract audiences who either skipped out on the film or had better choices.
Nightmare Alley is the second film based on the novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, the first being a 1947 film directed by Edmund Goulding. The story follows Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) as he partners up with a corrupt psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) to profit off of their scams. The cast also includes Richard Jenkins, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara, David Strathairn, Rooney Mara, and Toni Collette, among others.
One simple fact attributed to Nightmare Alley’s box-office failure—the release of Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which debuted the same day as Del Toro’s film. The latest MCU film has been inarguably the most anticipated film by fans since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, leading other films with a domestic opening of about $253 million.
But besides its competition with No Way Home, del Toro’s latest film had a major setback since the beginning, as the director simply has never been a major domestic box-office draw. While he’s an Oscar-winner and critically acclaimed by many, del Toro’s films tend to not attract mass audiences, as other recent films such as 2015’s Crimson Peak, have also failed to be recognized by a large audience.
It seems that auteur directors like del Toro are left to struggle to find funding for their films without the box-office support, yet similar filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Cuaron have had to seek deals with Netflix to obtain the required funding. This being the case, the future of auteur cinema remains a mystery, but if these box-office numbers are any indication, their future might not be so bright.
Check out Nightmare Alley playing in theaters everywhere.