Diana biopic flames out at box office

Patricia Treble on an awful mess and an epic failure

No one was expecting stellar box office numbers for Diana, the biopic of the late princess of Wales starring Naomi Watts. However its first weekend in North America was an epic failure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oliver Hirschbiegel film grossed just $64,914 from 38 theatres. And that meant an average of just $1,708 per location. So assuming tickets were $10 each, just 171 people walked into a screening of Diana in each movie theatre during the entire weekend. Yikes.

The savaging by critics didn’t help. Metacritic, which averages scores of reviews, gave it just 36 out of 100, with only one positive review (and that was an anaemic 63).

I knew it was a mesmerizingly awful mess after enduring it in London in September. In my review, I stated, “A Harlequin-esque TV movie of the week about a Russian supermodel falling for a cowboy while on a Wild West photo shoot would be more believable.”

“As I left the theatre in London after seeing Diana, only one thing flashed through my mind: I need to apologize to Madonna for calling her royal flick, W.E., a ‘fawning, laughably incorrect’ mess. Because when it comes to a truly horrid film about the Windsor clan, nothing can top Diana.” So I checked, and sure enough, Madonna’s movie made 37 out of 100 on Metacritic.