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Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins Is 2023’s Latest Box Office Bomb

Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins Is 2023’s Latest Box Office Bomb
Director Taika Waititi’s adaptation of one of the greatest underdog stories in sports is heading for a box office tally that resembles “rags” more than “riches.” Maybe the only good news (if you can call it that) is that 2023 has already seen so many high-profile under-performers, from “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” to “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” to “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” to “The Flash” and even “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning.” Premiering on a weekend that featured the debut of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and a crowded field of movies jockeying for position, the relatively low-budget “Next Goal Wins” and its thud of an opening weekend has flown largely under the radar.
Of course, that’s likely one of the biggest reasons why the latest Waititi film failed to gain much traction. In their latest box office report, Variety notes that “Next Goal Wins” only managed to scrape together $2.7 million despite a wide release in well over 2,000 theaters nationwide. With a budget that comes to roughly $14 million total, the Searchlight Pictures film faces a steep uphill climb in its quest to simply break even, let alone make an actual profit. Estimated production costs and marketing demands (not to mention the fact that ticket sales are split between the studio and theaters) mean the movie would’ve needed to take in around $28-35 million in order to cover its own expenses, which looks increasingly unlikely after such a dismal opening.
Is this a classic case of audiences ignoring anything other than horror movies and (certain) big-budget blockbusters? Could this be a timing issue? Is the film, quite frankly, just plain bad? Or is it a combination of all the above? Let’s dig into it.

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