Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ Fails to Lasso Audiences to the Theater

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

For diehard Clint Eastwood fans and lovers of the ever-receding Western genre, “Cry Macho” has been a cause of excitement since it was first announced as an upcoming project.

There were several attempts over the years to get the movie up and running. It is based on a 1975 novel of the same name. One of these attempts even had Arnold Schwarzennegger as the lead, but production was canceled amidst scandal. Then, in 2020, the adaptation led by Eastwood with Albert S. Ruddy, Tim Moore, and Jessica Meier went into production in New Mexico.

The movie is about a rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder (Clint Eastwood) that is now taking on a job from his ex-boss. The job is to take a young boy back home, which requires crossing through rural Mexico to get back to Texas. The two go through a difficult journey as both learn lessons about life.

Now, fans can finally watch the neo-Western drama film either in theaters or on HBO Max for 31 days. It started streaming on September 17.

Performance-wise, “Cry Macho” certainly didn’t lead to stampedes of people hoping to watch in theaters. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is still ruling the box office. According to Variety, “Shang-Chi” is still going strong even though it’s the third weekend since its release. It made $21 million just this past weekend and a total of $176.9 million to date.

‘Cry Macho’ and Box Office Ratings

“Cry Macho” is much, much lower than that. The Clint Eastwood movie came in at No. 3 this weekend at the box office. The movie only earned $4.5 million from the 3,967 screens that had it playing so far.

“Cry Macho” was released by Warner Bros. and is amongst many movies to both appear at theaters and also streaming on HBO Max. This is likely a part of the reason it flopped in theaters, similar to “Malignant” and “Reminiscence.”

“This is a weak opening in the face of two formidable obstacles: Older moviegoers are not yet ready to return to the movies in force, and the film is available at home. But with soft reviews, even in normal times, the movie would be opening below average for a Clint Eastwood Western drama,” said David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research.

“Shang-Chi” is a hard beast to beat. The movie has passed the earnings of “F9: The Fast Saga,” which earned $172 million. “Black Widow” earned $183 million and is currently the highest-grossing movie of 2021. However, “Shang-Chi” is anticipated to pass up “Black Widow” and also the $200 million mark, which hasn’t been passed in the pandemic-era of moviegoing.

“Free Guy” is in second place ahead of Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho.”