The last time Martin Scorsese directed a mob movie, The Departed, it made $289 million at the worldwide box office. The Irishman won’t get anywhere near that.
Following its acclaimed premiere at the New York Film Festival, the crime epic, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, opened in New York and Los Angeles theaters last Friday before hitting select markets this weekend ahead of its Netflix debut on November 27. (You can check to see if The Irishman is playing near you here.) Netflix rarely bothers with theatrical rollouts, unless it has its eyes on the Best Picture prize, but as Scorsese has said time and time again, The Irishman wouldn’t have been possible, not with its expensive de-aging technology, if the streamer had not covered the bill.
But, as a thought exercise, how much would The Irishman have made in theaters if it opened on, say, 2,500-3,000 screens, like The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street?
″[The Irishman] certainly could make $100 million,” Doug Stone, president of Box Office Analyst and a theater owner, said. He pointed to The Departed, which made $132 million domestically and $157 million in international markets, as an example of the kind of money that could be made in the U.S. and globally if Netflix were to make a deal with mainstream theaters to showcase the film in more locations and for a longer period of time. (Via)
That $100 million would rank among Scorsese’s biggest hits (despite the 3.5 hours running time), alongside the two movies already mentioned and Casino, Shutter Island, and Hugo. But Netflix is leaving “millions of dollars” on the table, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, because “people line up to see a Scorsese movie. But that’s not the model they are chasing.” We’ll never how many people end up watching The Irishman on Netflix, which hides those figures better than [Irishman spoiler?] hid Jimmy Hoffa, but let’s pretend it’s more than Avengers: Endgame.