Pitt’s Worst Movie Debut: ‘Killing Them Softly’ Stumbles At Box Office

Brad Pitt’s worst movie debut came this weekend as the once-critically anticipated Killing Them Softly flopped in its opening weekend, earning only $8.5 million.

Brad Pitt stars in the R-rated crime drama from Andrew Dominik, which was acquired by The Weinstein Company at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The groundwork for what would become Pitt’s worst movie debut came at this festival, where Killing Them Softly was met with less-than-stellar reviews, Yahoo News notes.

At first the movie was actually highly anticipated. Before debuting at Cannes, Killing Them Softly was considered a contender for awards, as the previous collaboration from Brad Pitt and Andrew Dominik — The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford — earned critical acclaim in 2007.

Brad Pitt’s worst movie debut came even with somewhat wide distribution. The movie played on 2,423 screens in North America, earning a paltry $2.51 million on Friday and an expected $8.5 million by the close of the weekend box office on Sunday.

The movie had a 68 percent approval rating and 6.7/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics, but did even worse with moviegoers. They gave Killing Them Softly an embarrassing “F” in CinemaScore.

Pitt’s worst movie debut comes in large part because of the failures of Killing Them Softly’s execution the Los Angeles Times notes. The paper notes that the movie is a good fit in the crime genre, but stumbles as it tries to make a larger point. In fact, Betsy Sharkey writes, the movie “becomes so intent on hammering home the parallels between economic decay, political disappointments and petty criminals, there is nothing soft, or subtle, about it. He should trust his audience more.”

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