Julie & Julia By the Numbers

by Melissa Silverstein on August 10, 2009

in Box Office

Just a quick update on how Julie & Julia did this weekend.

It came in second grossing a little over $20 million on 2300 screens.  (The amount of screens kept changing and I apologize for the confusion.)  Word of mouth is great and according to Variety the film “skewed dramatically older and female, with 64% of the aud over the age of 35 and 67% female.”  The film cost $38 million to make so it is on its way to being very profitable.  It will probably have legs through the rest of this month through Labor Day.

A few other numbers for perspective.   Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle opened in 1993 on over 1700 screens to a approx $17 million gross.  It earned $126 million domestically.  You’ve Got Mail opened in 1998 on over 2600 screens and earned a little over $18 million.  Film went on to earn $115 million domestically.

And from Meryl Streep.  The Devil Wears Prada opened in 2006 on 2,847 screens and grossed $27 million.  The total domestic gross was $124 million.   This film made more overseas with a total box office cum of $326 million.  Mamma Mia opened on over 2900 screens and grossed approx $27 million on opening weekend.  The domestic gross topped out at $144 million and the worldwide total is an astounding $600 million.

These women makes hits (and also a couple of misses.)

Did you go out and see it?  What did you think?


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle August 10, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I saw this on a Sunday matinee. It was definitely an older audience and roughly 2/3 women. I decided to go on my own as I live down the street from a theatre and like to walk down on whims whenever I feel like it.

Only the first two rows were empty. I was sitting next to an older man who came on his own and he nearly split a gut laughing.

Overall, really fun! Meryl Streep is amazing (what else is new) and Amy Adams is quite cute. It’s a good performance by Ms. Adams, but when you’re sharing a movie with Meryl Streep, well, lets face it, not many people are going to notice.

Lastly, the men of J and J are great. They are a wonderful balance to the women and it’s great to see healthy adult relationships on screen.

Support good filmmaking with your entertainment dollar. See Julie and Julia and you won’t regret it.

Nomie August 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Unfortunately, I didn’t. And I’d been planning for weeks to go opening night. However, I had such a bad head cold with coughing and sneezing that the other audience members would probably have killed me twenty minutes in.

But I’m pretty sure I got at least three other people to go see it opening weekend through my shameless boosterism, so there’s that. And I’ll go sometime this week when I’m not blowing my nose every three minutes.

Kai Jones August 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM

My husband and I went to an early show (11 am) Sunday. We both loved it and laughed a lot. The theater was not even half full, but it was over one third men, and the average age looked to be in the 30s.

Milla August 10, 2009 at 4:20 PM

I’m hoping to see it. Maybe with Hurt Locker in theaters now, I could justify getting off-island for a double bill of women directors.

Maggie B. August 10, 2009 at 4:25 PM

We saw it on opening night because my HUSBAND bought tickets ten days in advance. He loved it. So did I, but he was crazy about it. Never mind women, there are a lot of men over forty who want to see these kinds of films, too. There were plenty of men there, and couples of all ages. Lots of gay couples and groups, too. It was fun.

Andy T August 10, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Not my cup of tea…for men or women!

Here’s a good review I read over the weekend.



Jan Lisa Huttner August 14, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Sorry, Andy, but I think you’ve posted a very bad review from someone who clearly didn’t get it. I offer my own as a corrective:


However, if you won’t go see this film for youself, then how will you know?!?

All best,

grrljock August 14, 2009 at 2:03 PM

We saw it last night, and the theater (in the SF Bay Area) was about 3/4 full. The audience ranged from 20s to 60s (plus our 3-yr old), mostly women.

I have to echo everyone else in raving about Meryl Streep. She really captures the exuberant physicality of Julia Child. And of course, her comic timing is impeccable.

Although she’s generally a good actor, in this movie Amy Adams couldn’t surmount the role’s limitation. Maybe the problem for me and my spouse is that she reminded us too much of a friend of ours, who–lovely soul that she is–is quite earnestly self-absorbed in the manner of Julie Powell. Amy Adams couldn’t find that undefinable something in her character that would spark more sympathy from the audience. We idly wondered what other actor would do a better job, but we couldn’t quite come up with names. What do y’all think?

Jan Lisa Huttner, your take of the Julia part as representing Julie’s conception (vs the real Julia) is intriguing, and I agree that seeing it that away totally explains the movie. The problem is that it’s hard for the audience to get that, since the movie opens with the arrival of Julia before switching to the rather depressing reality of Julie.

Anyway, we had a good time watching it and I would recommend it to others. Meryl Streep rocks!

Jan Lisa Huttner August 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Thanks for feedback, grrljock.

For what it’s worth, Powell’s book also opens from “the Julia POV,” after she tells you “I just made stuff up” about Julia & Paul Child after reading their journals, letters, etc. Of course I found this out later. As stated in my review, I didn’t read ANYTHING until after I saw film.

But here’s the thing: if you do NOT see it my way, then you either have to believe Nora Ephron believes Julia Child really was perfect (had a perfect marriage, etc, etc), &/or you really have to believe Nora Ephron is so stupid that she didn’t realize “the real Julie” would be the loser in an actual cinematic face-off with “the real Julia.”

I find both of these options tremendously condescending. Perhaps people wish Nora Ephron had made a different movie (e.g., a Julia Child biopic) but she didn’t, so I suggest we all try to assess the one she actually made. Whaddya think?!?

Thazzit for now.

All best,

Beverly August 15, 2009 at 8:16 PM

soooo much pre-opening hype. I don’t cook. Never saw the cookbook. Didn’t read Julie’s book…just went to the movie because of Nora and Meryl.

And…I thought the two stories existed on very diverse planes. Julia and Paul seemed real with triumphs and sorrows and just day-to-day believable life. Julie and whats-his-name seemed like a chic-lit story…not enough depth. Didn’t believe her hopes and her pain. Somehow…I believed Julia’s…was that just Meryl’s amazing acting?? Dunno.

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