Matrix Resurrections got off to a bad start at the American box office, unsurprisingly crushed by Marvel and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The sign of a flop on the horizon for Matrix 4?
Matrix 4: Resurrections review: why it’s the Hollywood missile movie
Clash of the Titans took place at the US box office, and the winner will come as no surprise. On the one hand : Spider-Man, which has been crushing everything in its path for a week, becoming the first film to cross the billion mark since the start of the pandemic. On the other: the new Matrix, fourth adventure of Neo and Trinity. Unsurprisingly, the popcorn pop ration has engulfed Lana Wachowski’s film, undoubtedly thought of as an anti-blockbuster.
With around 22.5 million (a far cry from the initial projections of 40 million) for his five-day bank holiday weekend, Matrix Resurrections starts very, very badly on the domestic box office side. The film starts far, very far behind Spider-Man : No Way Home, which collected more than 138 million additional. Neo is even ejected in third place, behind the animated film All in scene 2 (41 millions).
A fourth Matrix meta, crushed by the eighth Spider-Man movie in 20 years, and the sequel to an animated film about animals playing The Voice : who said that this defeat was perfectly in line with the discourse of the film, who shoots red balls on the Hollywood industry?
Not to mention inflation, this start of Resurrections is much lower than those of Reloaded (91 million) and Revolutions (48 million) in 2003. In 1999, the first Matrix had started at 28 million.
This fall is ultimately logical, since the trilogy crashed at the box office. Waited for like the messiah, Reloaded had garnered nearly 740 million. A few months later, the public’s disappointment was spectacular: barely 430 million for Revolutions, a score lower than the first film (463 million, and an obviously incomparable budget). The direction taken by Lilly and Lana Wachowski had evidently left a lot of people behind, and the revolution Matrix had died out in a much less intense fire than expected – at least on the business side.
The lukewarm start of Matrix Resurrections is therefore not surprising, especially since this fourth opus takes pleasure in thwarting expectations. Matrix 4 is not an easy result (to love, to consume, to digest). In solo, Lana Wachowski is more in the wake of Cloud Atlas and Sense8… or two works that are much smaller for the general public. Cloud Atlas was a flop at the box office, and Sense8 was canceled after two seasons, with a special bonus episode (co-written by the co-writers of Matrix Resurrections, exactly).
Another data you can’t avoid: HBO Max. Matrix Resurrections is the latest Warner Bros. movie. to have the right (or to undergo) a double exploitation, with simultaneous release in cinemas and on the SVOD platform from the studio. Like Wonder Woman 1984, Conjuring 3, The Suicide Squad or Dune.
Operated on more than 3,500 screens in the United States (compared to 3,900 for All in scene 2, and more than 4300 for Spider-Man), Matrix 4 therefore left the choice: cinema screens or living room screens. Red pill and blue pill (or vice versa). Difficult to measure the real impact of such a strategy, which has led to several films in the wall (in particular The Suicide Squad), but not all (Halloween Kills, sur Peacock).
Direct consequence of this streaming output: an immediate entry into the matrix of illegal piracy worldwide. Again, difficult to measure the consequences, especially with a blockbuster, in this period. On the one hand, the film benefits from such media coverage that it will inevitably make you want to be watched quickly, and why not under a blanket, after Aunt Annick’s indubitable log. On the other hand, a blockbuster that sells shows will make you want to be discovered on the big screen.
In any case, this start to bad (even disastrous) start is a biting irony given what says Matrix 4. It only remains to see if Resurrections will be maintained, or will be annihilated by its two main enemies: the bulldozer Spider-Man… and himself. The film has already left much of the criticism and audiences to the side, and could quickly be punished for its scriptwriting biases. Like Reloaded and Revolutions.
Matrix Resurrections Are there other big cards to play in the world? Not sure. The film collected around 70 million for its international release. It will be released in China on January 14, but illegal downloading could still be a big drag.
Fortunately, Lana Wachowski has already assured that she had no plans to Matrix 5. You can therefore repackage your debates on continuation or not continuation.