If you need to google a movie to understand it did it fail?


Darren Aronofsky’s mother! released this weekend and it struggled pretty hard. That might be because the entire thing is a biblical allegory art house film that is somehow both complicated and blunt at the same time. People came out of it a bit confused, especially if you aren’t up to date on your bible.

The question becomes, does this mean the movie failed? If audiences can’t understand a movie is that their fault for not being smart enough or the filmmaker’s fault for being unable to make the movie work? Often art house films are applauded for their ability to “challenge” an audience, but if audiences don’t get it at all then doesn’t that mean it’s not a well designed challenge?

This isn’t to say that mother! is all that challenging of a film, but that its obliqueness raises this question. The consensus at Flixist is that the metaphors and symbolism are pretty easy to follow to the point of being pretentious. But the Internet seems to think otherwise as it has an F CinemaScore from audiences who said they didn’t understand it so maybe we don’t have a leg to stand on.

Neither did mother! really since it got trounced by IT as the horror film once again made more money this weekend than every other film combined. American Assassin meanwhile did poorly as well so I don’t think we’ll be seeing a franchise launching out of it any time soon.

1. IT – $60,000,000
2. American Assassin – $14,800,000
3. mother! – $7,500,000
4. Home Again – $5,334,160
5The Hitman’s Bodyguard – $3,550,000
6. Annabelle: Creation – 2,600,000
7. Wind River – $2,553,586 
8. Leap! – $2,117,930
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming – $1,875,000
10. Dunkirk – $1,305,000

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.