Ethan Coen's Drive-Away Dolls Is A Big Box Office Disappointment

Ethan Coen's latest film, 'Drive-Away Dolls,' has underperformed at the box office, ranking as one of the year's early theatrical disappointments.


Ethan Coen's 'Drive-Away Dolls' Struggles at the Box Office

This past weekend saw the release of several new movies at the box office. While 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba—To the Hashira Training' found success, Ethan Coen's 'Drive-Away Dolls' did not.

'Drive-Away Dolls' only earned $2.4 million in its debut, placing eighth on the charts. This disappointing result puts it behind films like 'Wonka,' which has been in theaters for 11 weeks, and 'The Beekeeper,' which has been in theaters for seven weeks.

Solo Directorial Debut for Ethan Coen

This is the first time that Ethan Coen has directed a movie solo. In the past, he co-directed acclaimed films like 'No Country for Old Men' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis' with his brother Joel Coen. The Coen Brothers decided to work on separate projects a few years ago, with Joel Coen directing 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' for Apple.

Although 'Drive-Away Dolls' is credited as Ethan Coen's solo directorial debut, he actually co-directed the film with Tricia Cooke.

Synopsis and Reception

'Drive-Away Dolls' follows the journey of Jamie (Margaret Qualley) and her friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) as they embark on a spontaneous road trip to Tallahassee. However, their plans take a turn when they unwittingly become entangled with a group of criminals.

While 'Drive-Away Dolls' has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, with a 66% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, its rough 34% audience score suggests weak word-of-mouth. Focus Features, the studio behind the film, will have to rely on home-viewing interest to potentially salvage its performance.

The film features a talented ensemble cast, including Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, and Bill Camp, with Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon in brief appearances.


Implications for Focus Features

Focus Features, which has shifted its business model since the pandemic, relies more on Video on Demand (VOD) to drive film success. Although 'Drive-Away Dolls' may not be a complete flop for the studio, it offers little support for theaters this week.

With a budget reported to be in the $20 million range, the film doesn't need to make a significant profit to break even. However, it is unlikely to be a major success. 'Drive-Away Dolls' may have to rely on potential cult status in the future.