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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ad Astra: Solid Movie, Poor Box Office

by Ray Keating
September 28, 2019

DisneyBizJournal.com Movie Rating: 4 stars out of 5
DisneyBizJournal.com Box Office Rating:  $ out of $$$$

Ad Astra, one of the films passed to Disney via the Fox acquisition, is the space sci-fi version of Field of Dreams.What do I mean? 

Well, on the surface level, one would say that Field of Dreams is a baseball movie. But in reality, baseball is used to tell a father-son story.

Likewise, on the surface, Ad Astra is a space movie. And on that level, it’s well done. No, it definitely isn’t anything like Star Wars or that type of pacing, but instead it has much in common with The Martian and, even more so, the space biopic First Man

Brad Pitt brings a reflective gravitas and depth to the role of astronaut Roy McBride. It’s arguably one of Pitt’s best performances in a career that continues to grow in stature, including his Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood this year as well.

In the end, though, Ad Astra turns out to be a father-son story, and one that’s very different from the aforementioned Field of Dreams. This develops into a story of a son trying not to be like his father, and a man wrestling with what’s truly important – that is, what ultimately matters – in life and what doesn’t. It’s about deciding to share one’s life with loved ones or not.

The Box Office

Unfortunately, Ad Astra seems to falling into the classification of a well-done film that struggles at the box office.

It’s been reported that the production budget for Ad Astra was $80 million, with some saying it was pushed up to $100 million with reshoots. Meanwhile, BoxOfficeMojo.com reports that Ad Astra, from its opening on September 20 through September 27, earned $55 million globally. While it still has not opened everywhere internationally as yet, such as China still to come, it’s hard to see this film registering a profit.

Ad Astra and Brad Pitt deserve better than what this movie apparently will achieve at the box office.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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