‘Yesterday’ Beats Expectations in Opening Weekend
The Beatles-themed movie Yesterday beat analysts’ expectations during its opening weekend, landing in third position and taking an estimated $17 million – as opposed to the $10 million that had been predicted.
The cumulative worldwide total was reported to be $24.7 million, which put it close to recouping its production budget of $26 million. Movies tend to be regarded as box-office flops if they don’t bring in double the production-budget figure. However, Yesterday faced a very specific cost in that it’s thought that the rights to use the Beatles’ catalog cost around $10 million.
“The romantic comedy follows an aspiring songwriter who, after a freak accident, discovers he’s the only person who remembers the Beatles,” Variety reported. “Rights to the catalog of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s greatest hits don’t come cheap, so Universal is hoping Yesterday has a long and winding road in theaters. … Yesterday appealed to an older female audience. Women represented 56 percent of ticket buyers, while 75 percent of moviegoers were over the age of 25. It carries an A- CinemaScore.”
Deadline reported that “Rivals applaud Universal for propelling such an original musical comedy to this place in the sluggish market.” “Yesterday is exactly what the domestic box office needs right now," distribution boss Jim Orr said. "A very, smart, original, whimsical romantic comedy that audiences can’t wait to tell their friends and family to come out to theaters and sing along with. I knew Yesterday was always in for the long run, but with these great exits, I’m even more convinced.”
The report went on to say that the production’s biggest problem was that it had been “packaged as a British indie, and that’s what’s halting a great stampede here. ... Nonetheless, once people get in the theater, they obviously love the pic’s conceit about a singer who wakes up after an accident to learn that the world has never heard of the Beatles, so he begins to capitalize off their song catalog.”
Everything (Else) You Need to Know About the Beatles 'Yesterday' Movie