Those who read this blog on a regular basis will know that a couple of weeks ago I discussed Love, Simon – the new teen movie from 20th Century Fox. The film – which stars Nick Robinson – hit UK cinemas at the beginning of the month and I was a big fan.
A couple of weeks on from its UK release – and about a month on from its US debut – and the film is only doing so-so at the box office. Financially it has achieved around $50 million, which isn’t bad from a budget of $17 million, but that’s not quite what it should be pulling in.
So why is this?
Well, marketing can’t be blamed – the film has received a fair bit of promotion including trailers, social media posts, events and even lobby advertisting. Critical reception also isn’t a factor, as most critics love Love, Simon – with many noting its “cultural significance” as the first mainstream movie to feature a gay lead character that is aimed at a general audience.
Check out the reception that Love, Simon has online and you’ll see there’s a great deal of respect and goodwill towards the movie. Look on sites such as IMDB (8.1/10) and Rotten Tomatoes (92% – with an audience score of 91%) and you’ll see this is a film that ticks all of the boxes – pretty much guaranteeing an entertaining night at the movies.
So why isn’t it making more money than it is?
Well, firstly it must be noted that Love, Simon is receiving a staggered release so it’s only playing in 4-5 countries at present – this obviously has an effect on the box office and the takings will increase. However, from looking at the numbers, people are just choosing to see other movies in large volumes rather than this one and that’s a real shame.
The people that have seen Love, Simon really like it. It simply needs more people to go and see it.
I’ve no doubt whatsoever that when Love, Simon receives a home video release the film will be warmly received – more so than it is now. In fact, in 20 years’ time this movie will be referenced in the same way as Clueless or Mean Girls is referenced by the current generation, for being a smart, funny and overall worthwhile piece of cinema.
But let’s not wait 20 years to champion this film. Champion it now.
Teo Van Den Broeke of British GQ, recently wrote a great article on Love, Simon, titled Why Love, Simon is the most important film of the year. The article highlights the positive aspects of the movie and notes that the studio spent a little more on this film than it would on usual teen romance films.
Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, I recommend you check out the article, which Teo signs off by saying: “Go and see Love, Simon. Chances are there’s a Simon in your life who’d appreciate the gesture.” I couldn’t agree more.
So, if you’ve watched the trailer, considered seeing Love, Simon but just haven’t got around to it yet, now is the time to go to the cinema. Yes, I know that Avengers: Infinity War is on the horizon, Rampage has just landed in theatres and you’ve still not caught up on The Greatest Showman, Tomb Raider, A Quiet Place or all the other movies that are playing, but Love, Simon could do with your support – and I promise you won’t regret it.
So, this is a call out to all the gays, the straights, the allies, the flag wavers, the placard carriers, the movie lovers, the popcorn rustlers, the casual viewers and those simply looking for a good movie to watch this weekend – go and see Love, Simon. Championing good films (like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Get Out and this one) means we’ll get more good films in the future – and who doesn’t want that?