Box Office: After Middling Success of “Respect,” MGM Keeps Sean Penn’s “Flag Day” to Just 24 Theater Opening

Home Movies Box Office: After Middling Success of “Respect,” MGM Keeps Sean Penn’s “Flag…

MGM’s lion is taking it easy waiting for the Amazon deal to close.

They’re giving Sean Penn’s “Flag Day” the smallest release of any major film this year, just 24 theaters for opening weekend.

We haven’t seen such a small opening release in quite a while. The trend during the pandemic era has been wide releases that grab as much money and attention as possible right away.

But “Flag Day” is problematic. It’s only at around 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are only 34 reviews so far, which isn’t a lot. MGM has really kept the film from wide reviews. I would have paid to see it tonight but it’s not playing anywhere near me!

But the studio may be gun shy. Their current release, “Respect,” isn’t going great. On Wednesday night, “Respect” made only $715K. The total since last Thursday is a little over $11 million. It remains in wide release.

So maybe the idea is to see if “Flag Day” percolates and catches on. If not, we can only hope they’ll move it to streaming fast.


Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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