And I’m tickled pink by its critical and commercial success! “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a release I’ve been touting since first catching its trailer back in October, has officially become Wes Anderson’s highest-grossing film ever. With its band of Anderson regulars(Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, among others), led by Wes newcomer, the brilliant Ralph Fiennes, “TGBH” just nipped former top spot holder “The Royal Tenenbaums” by one hundred thousand dollars. And with less than a month having passed since “TGBH” opened in North America—there’s still a long way to go.
Now, let me be clear—my numbers are based on the film’s total gross as of Wednesday, 4/2/14. When “The Royal Tenenbaums” opened in late 2001, obviously ticket prices were cheaper—so my figures are not based on the number of seats sold. Also, the 71,500,000 dollar tally I’m brandishing is a worldwide total. “TRT” is still the domestic champion, with a 52 million dollar take. But if “TGBH” popularity keeps ratcheting up, you can expect more numbers to fall soon. Currently, “TGBH” has grabbed 26.4 million in North America: 3rd to “TRT”‘s 52.3 million and “Moonrise Kingdom”‘s 45.5. Also, when adjusting ticket prices for inflation, “TGBH” is still up to 5.4 million dollars behind 1998’s “Rushmore” and 2004’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”. But those numbers could be toppled by the end of this weekend. So, “TGBH” just has “TRT” and 2012’s “Moonrise Kingdom” to catch, to becomes Anderson’s biggest hit among his eight features released since 1996.
Surely, the critical and box office popularity of “Moonrise Kingdom” is the crest that “TGBH” is riding on. And although I believe that “MK” is the superior film, “TGBH” is damn good and probably only a notch behind it. And I find it quite heartening that, in a time of endless superhero franchise releases, and countless motion pictures populated with teenage vampires, Wes Anderson has garnered such a solid adult following. That isn’t easy in the current movie climate, so that’s why these latest numbers are such a thrill to an independent film lover like me. Anderson is bridging that art/commerce gap beautifully—and while not compromising in the process. So, all hail “The Grand Budapest Hotel”…it’s Wes Anderson’s new champion!