Director David Ayer and RLJE Films’ action movie “The Tax Collector” brought in an estimated $317,000 this weekend.
The movie, which is star Shia LaBeouf’s latest turn at playing an extreme character, played at 129 theaters over the weekend, earning a per-screen average of $2,457, according to Comscore. The film played at a mix of drive-in movie theaters and indoor venues. At the Vineland Drive-In theater in Los Angeles, “The Tax Collector” notched both the highest and second-highest single-day grosses since the theater’s reopening.
Next weekend, the film will expand to more drive-ins and brick-and-mortar theaters that have reopened.
On video-on-demand services, “The Tax Collector” ranked among the top purchases on many platforms, including Google, iTunes, Amazon and FandangoNow, with reports that it pulled in around $1 million in VOD sales.
In the film, LaBeouf and Bobby Soto play two gang enforcers named Creeper and David who work for a crime lord. The “tax collectors” take their employer’s cut from local gangs, but their entire business is upended when an old rival returns from Mexico. Cinthya Carmona, George Lopez, Jay Reeves, Lana Parrilla and Chelsea Rendon are also featured in the cast.
“During these unpredictable times, audiences want new content even more than ever,” said Mark Ward, chief acquisitions officer at RLJE Films. “The drive-in and PVOD model have given audiences new and nostalgic experiences, and we’re seeing the demand as we innovate and pivot to the need of consumers. What we’re most proud of is ‘The Tax Collector’ with its ethnically diverse cast, helmed by the legendary David Ayer, is topping the charts in both box office and PVOD. Audiences crave diversity in film, and we are opening opportunities for such representation to be seen.”
Considering most theaters are still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the box office success of “The Tax Collector” is a bit of a surprise considering critics’ takes on the film. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter DeBruge said the story is “bloody, barely coherent and about as fun as having your face dragged across asphalt from a moving SUV.”
As theaters began to safely reopen in China, a re-release of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” earned $680,000 from 502 Imax screens in China. Last year’s Golden Globe-winner “1917” earned an estimated $5.16 million after its opening three days in China, bringing its worldwide cume to $381.76 million. The “Train to Busan” sequel “Peninsula” earned $1.3 million at the global box office as well.
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