As movie theaters begin to open across North America, it has been challenging for films to find box office success. Kevin Costner’s new western thriller titled “Let Him Go” is one of them. The movie, directed by Tom Bezucha, had the highest box office weekend earnings in over a month. Last weekend, it made around $4.1 million, more than any film in six weeks.
The movie comes from Focus Features and stars Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, and Lesley Manville. The screenplay is based on the 2013 Larry Watson novel with the same title. In this story, a couple from Montana drives to North Dakota in search of their grandson, who lives with his stepfather. Costner’s role is the grandfather, while Diane Lane plays the grandmother.
“This is the kind of solid, grown-up drama we don’t see very often anymore,” says Christie Lemire about the film. “In a world of superhero blockbusters, this low-key throwback of a Western is the stuff of timeless cinema, but it may as well be a unicorn.”
According to Lemire, the film has a strong focus on landscape and character development. The subtlety in cinematography helps build suspense and allows space for the plot to build. Unlike the superhero blockbusters that have filled the theaters, “Let Him Go” is a movie based on solid plot development and masterful cinematography rather than constant action.
Between “Let Him Go” and “Yellowstone,” Costner has been keen on using Western inspirations in film lately. “Yellowstone” also features many stunning shots of the landscape around Montana. Additionally, Costner’s country-rock band, Kevin Costner & Modern West, draws on “Yellowstone” and the American West in general for inspiration for some of their music.
Costner’s Film in the Time of Coronavirus
According to Comscore, approximately 48% of all North American movie theaters are open for business. Obviously, this is less than half the number of pre-pandemic locations, but it shows promise for a struggling industry. “Let Him Go” grossed around $4.1 million from 2,454 locations. With so many premieres being delayed and pushed back, it is extremely exciting to see locations begin to open up.
On the other side of the industry, companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have seen major boosts. This seems like a no brainer based on the nature of the pandemic, but many major film companies have moved toward streaming service releases over theater releases. This is bound to change with theaters opening back up.