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Roman Polanski's THE GHOST WRITER Box Office: Success and Disappointment

Pierce Brosnan in The Ghost Writer
Pierce Brosnan in The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski's thriller The Ghost Writer, winner of the Best Director Silver Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, earned an estimated $2.1 million at the North American box office this weekend.

Playing at 819 theaters – 595 more than last weekend – at the start of its fifth week, The Ghost Writer soared in terms of revenues, but disappointed somewhat in terms of per-screen average: only $2,564. Unless those screens are all located in really tiny theaters, that probably means the film's expansion will end at those 819 screens.

Polanski's latest has thus far earned $6.8 million in the U.S. and Canada. That's not bad when compared to the director's Oliver Twist ($2.08 million in 2005), but it isn't great, either, especially considering the film's remarkable first couple of weeks and the fact that it has received mostly glowing notices from US critics. For comparison's sake, The Pianist grossed $31.5 million in 2002.

Like other previous Polanski efforts, The Ghost Writer will likely do much better business overseas. To date, it's about 50-50. But Oliver Twist went on to gross more than $40 million internationally, while The Pianist took in $87.5 million.

The tale of a corrupt former British prime minister (based on Tony Blair) with lots of decomposing skeletons in his past, The Ghost Writer stars Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, Timothy Hutton, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, James Belushi, and Eli Wallach.

Photo: The Ghost Writer (Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment)

Box Office source: Box Office Mojo

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4 Comments to Roman Polanski's THE GHOST WRITER Box Office: Success and Disappointment

  1. Paul Jones

    I think Roman needs some help and sympathy from the public. He obviously has problems and needs them sorting out.

    I'm sure the Ghost Writer will be a smash hit whatever people think of his personal life.

  2. Don Heckers

    In 1968 there was a poster for Roman Polanski's
    hitfilm "ROSEMARY'S BABY.
    The title was PRAY FOR ROSEMARY'S BABY.

    Today I'd like to see a poster that says

    If there is a GOD , and i like to think so , the
    prayers for Polanski should help to get him out
    of trouble.

    If people are smarter than i think they should
    run to the cinema to see "THE GHOST WRITER".

    If my girlfriend said to me that she wouldn't
    allow me to see a Roman Polanski film , that would
    be the end our relationship.
    So you see , there's no stopping me.
    I simply MUST SEE this film.
    But i have to wait until May 20 for this film's
    Dutch release.

  3. mh

    Movies made for adults haven't been doing all that well at the box-office, unless they have some major box-office name (e.g., Leonardo DiCaprio) AND a big-studio-backed multi-million-dollar marketing campaign (DiCaprio's SHUTTER ISLAND).

    THE GHOST WRITER is probably doing better in North America than it would have done without Polanski's notoriety.

    And I bet that THE GHOST WRITER will do much better on home video/pay per view. Especially if it ends up getting Academy Award nominations in various categories.

  4. Don Heckers

    American people don't want to see the movie for
    one reason only , Roman Polanski is the director.
    But their principles can only hurt them-
    selves , because Roman Polanski is playing the
    game again with "THE GHOST WRITER" , and he's
    In Europe there's so more understanding for this
    man's problems and unfortunate crime.
    Yes we agree , he shouldn't have done it.
    But if some in America hadn't murdered his
    lovely wife SHARON TATE , there wouldn't be a
    rape-case in 1977.
    That thought counts too in our thoughts about
    weather we should like or dislike Roman Polanski.
    At the end of the line most people with their
    hearts in the right place feel sorry for him.
    THE GHOST WRITER will become a box office smash-
    hit all over Europe.
    That's the way i like it !


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