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Hilary Swank Has Another Box Office Flop Despite Generally Solid Reviews

Conviction movie Hilary Swank Tony GoldwynConviction movie set with Hilary Swank and Tony Goldwyn: Well-received box office flop in the making.
  • Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Hilary Swank stars in another box office underperformer, Tony Goldwyn’s generally well-regarded real-life-based legal drama Conviction, which will most likely have its domestic expansion cut short.
  • In other domestic box office news, the Swedish-Danish crime thriller The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest opened to underwhelming numbers. Daniel Alfredson directed; Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist star.

Tony Goldwyn’s well-received real-life-based legal drama Conviction is the latest box office dud starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Oct. 29–31 weekend box office (cont.): Lionsgate’s critically massacred Saw 3D was this past Halloween weekend’s big story at the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office. But further down the domestic chart – at no. 10 – was another noteworthy title: Fox Searchlight’s real-life-based legal drama Conviction, directed by Tony Goldwyn and starring two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, 1999; Million Dollar Baby, 2004).

Despite generally positive reviews – 70 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics” – Conviction grossed a mere $1.8 million after expanding from 55 to 565 theaters, averaging an anemic $3,240 per venue as per final studio figures found at Cume after three weekends: $2.4 million.

These figures indicate that the Conviction expansion will remain modest in scope. Either that, or it will be radically brief. In any case, don’t expect this latest Hilary Swank underperformer – following Amelia, The Reaping, Freedom Writers, The Black Dahlia, and, to a lesser extent, P.S. I Love You – to as much as match its humble $12.5 million budget in the domestic market.

Here’s a brief comparison: Starring Hilary Swank as doomed aviatrix Amelia Earhart, Fox Searchlight’s poorly received Amelia (budget: $40 million) opened with $3.9 million in late October 2009, ending its run with a paltry $14.2 million.

Hilary Swank’s Oscar chances all but gone

Something else to keep in mind: Earlier in the year seen as a potential 2011 Oscar contender, Hilary Swank now has little chance of landing her third Best Actress nod.

Also in the Conviction cast: Sam Rockwell, Ele Bardha, Ari Graynor, Loren Dean, Clea DuVall, Peter Gallagher, and Oscar nominees Melissa Leo (Frozen River, 2008), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting, 1997), and Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear, 1991).

Best Actress SAG nomination for box office flop

Update: The Tony Goldwyn-Hilary Swank real-life-based drama Conviction ultimately collected $6.8 million domestically and $4.3 million (likely incomplete) internationally. Worldwide total: A measly $11.1 million.

Its top international markets were Australia ($2.1 million), Spain ($695,000), and the United Kingdom/Ireland ($443,000).

As it turned out, Conviction failed to receive a single Academy Award nomination. However, the movie did earn Hilary Swank a surprising Best Actress SAG Award nod. The winner that year was Natalie Portman for another Fox Searchlight release, Darren Aronofsky’s far more successful psychological thriller Black Swan.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest movie Noomi RapaceThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest with Noomi Rapace.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest disappoints

Lastly, Daniel Alfredson’s Swedish-Danish crime thriller The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest opened with $882,000 (no. 13 on the domestic chart) from 154 theaters, averaging a mediocre – for a movie in limited release – $5,725 per venue.

Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist return in this third and final movie transfer of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium book series, following The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which became a sizable international hit, and The Girl Who Played with Fire, which debuted with $905,000 from 108 locations last July.

Released in the U.S. by Music Box Films, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest also features Lena Endre, Annika Hallin, Sofia Ledarp, Jacob Ericksson, Tehilla Blad, Carl-Åke Eriksson, and veteran Per Oscarsson (Hunger, Montenegro).

Local Scandinavian hit

Update: Daniel Alfredson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest ultimately collected $5.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $39.1 million (apparently incomplete*) internationally. Worldwide total: $44.3 million.

Its top international markets were Sweden ($10.1 million), Denmark ($9 million), Norway ($5.3 million), Germany ($3.8 million), and Spain ($3.6 million).

* Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea are among the countries not found on Box Office Mojo’s list.

“Hilary Swank Has Another Box Office Flop” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Hilary Swank Has Another Box Office Flop Despite Generally Solid Reviews” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety,, etc.).

Comments about Conviction and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Hilary Swank and Tony Goldwyn Conviction movie image: Fox Searchlight.

Noomi Rapace The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest movie image: Music Box Films.

“Hilary Swank Has Another Box Office Flop Despite Generally Solid Reviews” last updated in October 2022.

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