Everything Everywhere All at Once: Genre-Bending Black Comedy, Starring Michelle Yeoh–Litlle Indie that Could

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Hits Box Office Milestone

Courtesy Everett Collection

Commercially, genre-bending black comedy ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ has become the little indie that could. 

After six weeks in theaters, the film has grossed $35 million in America, an impressive sum for an arthouse feature.

Those ticket sales are a positive indication that adult audiences will return to the big screen for the right movie, and also a reminder that ticket buyers really love the concept of a multiverse.

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” stars the charismatic Michelle Yeoh as a wife and mother who exists in a multiverse.

Multiverse is a concept popularized by Marvel comic book adventures like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and the upcoming “Doctor Strange” sequel. In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang is being audited by the IRS when she discovers she has to connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent cataclysmic destruction.

The plot also involves family, bagels, noodles, and hot dogs for fingers.

Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong, Jenny Slate and Jamie Lee Curtis round out the cast.

Over the weekend, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” added $5.5 million from 2,200 cinemas, marking 2% uptick from last weekend’s tally. That increase can be attributed to IMAX, where the film collected $850,000 from 256 screens between Friday and Sunday.

Box office returns for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are especially notable because it’s one of first pandemic-era indie movies to benefit from a platform release.

The strategy, used primarily for arthouse films as tool to build awareness and boost word-of mouth, proved to be impossible in COVID-19 times.  Such releases usually begin in Los Angeles and New York City, where theaters were among the last to reopen as the virus remained stubborn.

When cinemas across the globe were able to reopen, older crowds (the target demo for platform releases) were slower to return compared to younger patrons.

Hence the blockbuster turnouts for “Venom: Let There be Carnage,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Batman” and lackluster attendance for films like Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Guillermo Del Toro’s sleek thriller “Nightmare Alley.”

Everything Everywhere All at Once has successfully drummed up positive sentiments before expanding to theaters nationwide.

David A. Gross, of the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, says the box office milestone points to the fact that, “There’s still plenty of room for well-produced, original, creatively-told stories on the big screen.”

Critics have been fond of the film, which boasts a 97% average rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie’s plot is messy (and convoluted), but it’s also full of twists and kinks.

Since the film cost $25 million, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” will need to keep trucking along in theaters to achieve profitability. Given the enthusiastic reception from audiences, it’s likely to gain traction on home entertainment platforms as moviegoers seek repeat viewings.

A24 executives, encouraged by stellar week-to-week holds, said Sunday in a note to press, “With no signs of slowing down, ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ will continue its theatrical run well into the summer.”

A24: Indie Company’s Big Hits

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” has a chance at dethroning Adam Sandler’s “Uncut Gems” ($50 million) as A24’s highest grossing movie in the U.S.

Globally, the studio’s biggest box office earner is Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” with $79 million worldwide, followed by Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age story “Lady Bird” with $78 million worldwide.