Mary Queen of Scots: Starring Oscar Nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie

Focus Features’ “Mary Queen of Scots” brought in $200,000 when it debuted in four theaters. That’s the best screen average of the weekend with $50,000 per location.

Saoirse Ronan plays the eponymous royal and Margot Robbie portrays Queen Elizabeth I in the costume drama.

Focus is expanding the film to 70 theaters next weekend.

“Our first-time film director Josie Rourke took a fresh take on this incredible drama of these two queens and made it resonate with audiences in a powerful way paralleling so much of what is still going on today for women,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features’ president of distribution.

Roadside Attractions’ “Ben Is Back” opened on four screens, picking up $80,972 for an average of $20,243 per location.

The drama follows a mother (Julia Roberts) who attempts to help her addict son (Lucas Hedges) after he returns home from rehab. Hedges’ father, Peter Hedges, directed the movie.

Neon’s “Vox Lux” starring Natalie Portman as a pop star with a traumatic past launched in six locations. It earned $162,252 for a theater average of $27,042.

Creed II landed in third place with $10.3 million in its third outing. Its domestic total now stands at $96.4 million.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” was in fourth place, bringing in another $6.8 million this weekend. That takes its North American tally to $145 million.

Rounding out the top five is “Bohemian Rhapsody,” drumming up $6 million for a Stateside haul of $173.6 million.

The Queen biopic continues to draw in strong numbers overseas, where it has made $423 million. It’s made a sizable $596.5 million globally.

Fox Searchlight’s Oscar-bait film “The Favourite” is expanding nicely, amassing $1.4 million when it played in 91 locations.

When it opened during Thanksgiving, scored the best screen average ($105,500) in two years.

It has since made $3.5 million.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ 18th century serio-comedy is starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman.


Historians and fans have heavily criticised the inaccuracies of the story. Mary and Elizabeth’s letters to each other were their only sources of communication, and they never saw each other face to face.[25]
There have been suggestions that Mary would not have had a Scottish accent. The five-year-old Mary was sent to France, where she grew up in the French Court.[25]
Estelle Paranque, an expert on Queen Elizabeth I, told The Telegraph: “It shows a friendship at first, but there was not a friendship, Elizabeth tried to be kind to her at first but Mary never saw Elizabeth as an equal. She saw her as a rival from the start.”[25]
In the film Mary is referred to several times as the ‘Queen of Scotland’. However, as a popular monarchy the Scottish monarch was instead titled the [King/Queen] of Scots (as the film’s title and eponymous character accurately states), something which was the norm until usage started to decline during the reigns of William II and Mary II.
Various white historical figures are portrayed by non-white/non-European actors, most notably Lord Randolph (played by Adrian Lester) and Countess Bess of Hardwick (played by Gemma Chan).
Box office[edit]
Mary Queen of Scots grossed $16.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $29.9 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $46.4 million.[3]
The film made $194,777 from four theaters in its opening weekend, an average of $48,694 per venue. [26] It expanded to 795 theaters in its third weekend, grossing $2.8 million, and then to 841 in its fourth, making $2.7 million.[27][28]

Like other previous versions, this Mary is historically inaccurate.

The emphasis on eroticism and sex may be an effort to make the film more accessible among the millenniums. The act of cunnilingus is particularly disturbing since it’s deemed a crucial event!

The film fall in between the cracks. One the one hand, it’s too expository, though not rigorous or accurate enough to serve as a lesson.  On the other, the filmmakers fail to take any fresh approach to the material, which has been done on stage, on screen and TV numerous times.

So what’s left–and the only reason to see it–is the acting of the two female leads, well played by Ronan and Robbie, even though the take feels like too much of an explicit showcase for the actresses.