‘Boundaries’ Has Tepid Indie Box Office Launch After Peter Fonda Tweets

After it made headlines in Hollywood for the wrong reasons, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Boundaries” is off to a tepid start at the indie box office, as it opened on five screens this weekend. Directed by Shana Feste and starring Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, the film has made $30,395 for a per screen average of $6,079.

This past week, Peter Fonda, who has a minor role in the film, posted an angry Twitter rant aimed towards President Donald Trump and his wife and son, Melania and Barron, that was a knee-jerk response to the White House’s family separation policy towards undocumented migrants and asylum seekers.

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” the actor wrote in a tweet that he later deleted. “And see if mother will stand up against the giant a-hole she is married to.”

Fonda later apologized for the tweet, but it still drew an angry response from Donald Trump Jr., who pointed out Fonda’s role in “Boundaries.”

“I wonder if they will apply the same rules to [Fonda] that they did to Roseanne,” Trump Jr. tweeted, referring to the cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s ABC show following a racially charged tweet. “I have a strange suspicion that they wont [sic] do anything.”

Trump Jr.’s tweet and the subsequent furor from conservatives prompted a statement from Sony Pictures Classics saying they condemned Fonda’s remarks as “abhorrent, reckless and dangerous,” but adding that removing his small role from the film days before release “would unfairly penalize the filmmaker Shana Feste’s accomplishment, the many actors, crew members and other creative talent that worked hard on the project.”

“Boundaries” stars Farmiga as Laura,  a single mother whose estranged, pot-selling father Jack (Plummer) comes back into her life after he’s kicked out of his retirement home. Laura agrees to drive him south to live with her sister in Los Angeles but, along the way, Jack convinces his grandson, Henry, to help him sell off the rest of his marijuana stash to some old friends, including one played by Fonda. The film had a mixed reception from critics with a 58 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Elsewhere, Focus Features’ “Damsel” performed only slightly better than “Boundaries,” grossing $21,000 from three screens for a $7,000 average. Directed by David and Nathan Zellner, the subversive western stars Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska as a rich pioneer and his wife-to-be on a voyage that becomes treacherous and blurs the line between hero and damsel. The film has an 80 percent RT score.

Focus’ big summer hit, “RBG,” continues to perform well-above its weight. After crossing the $10 million mark last weekend, the film added $425,000 from 203 screens in its eighth weekend to bring its total to $10.8 million. The other big documentary in theaters, Magnolia’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” added $1.875 million in its third weekend from 348 screens, keeping it in the top 10 and bringing its total to $4.1 million.

On the MoviePass front, The Orchard’s “American Animals” passed the $1 million mark in its third weekend, adding $576,000 as it expanded to 336 screens to bring its total to $1.4 million. But Vertical Entertainment’s “Gotti” continues to crash, making $812,000 from 466 screens in its second weekend. That leaves it with a per screen average of $1,742 and a 10-day total of $3.2 million.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sony Pictures Classics Calls Peter Fonda's Trump Tweet 'Abhorrent, Reckless and Dangerous'

Peter Fonda Apologizes for 'Highly Inappropriate' Barron Trump Tweet: 'I Went Way Too Far'

'Boundaries' Star Peter Fonda's Threatening Barron Trump Tweet Puts Sony Classics Film on Hot Seat

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Roars to $15.3 Million at Thursday Box Office

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” roared to $15.3 million at the Thursday box office, compared to “Jurassic World’s” preview number of $18.5 million in 2015.

Universal is projecting an opening weekend of $130-140 million, but multiple analysts who spoke with TheWrap said that competition from “Incredibles 2” could weigh down those numbers, with an opening of $120-130 million more likely.  A $120-140 million start is around what the first “Jurassic World” was expected to make before it blew away expectations with a $208 million launch.

So far, the sequel has grossed $450.1 million worldwide, with markets including China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Russia, Spain and South Korea.

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Daniella Pineda, Geraldine Chaplin, James Cromwell and Toby Jones. J.A. Bayona directed, and Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow penned the script. Trevorrow, Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall produced.

The film is facing off against “The Incredibles 2” this weekend, which last weekend  launched with $182.7 million, the eighth-highest opening weekend for any North American release and the third Disney film in 2018 to crack that top ten list. On Monday, the sequel had the highest opening Monday in animation history with an industry-estimated $29.6 million.

“Jurassic World 2” holds a score of 53 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while the second “Incredibles” rated “fresh” at 94 percent.

Also opening in five theaters this weekend is “Boundaries,” which stars Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Lloyd and Peter Fonda. Fonda was in the hot seat this week after he tweeted that we should put Barron Trump in “a cage with pedophiles” in regards to Trump and his administration’s family separation policy against undocumented migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

While distributor Sony Pictures Classics condemned the actor’s tweet as “abhorrent, reckless and dangerous,” it still decided to release the film, otherwise it would “unfairly penalize the filmmaker Shana Feste’s accomplishment, the many actors, crew members and other creative talent that worked hard on the project.”

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Sony Pictures Classics Calls Peter Fonda’s Trump Tweet ‘Abhorrent, Reckless and Dangerous’

Sony Pictures Classics released a statement Wednesday evening condemning actor Peter Fonda’s tweet about Donald Trump and his son, Barron, but says they will not remove Fonda from the film “Boundaries,” which the indie distributor will release this weekend despite suggestions from the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Peter Fonda’s comments are abhorrent, reckless and dangerous, and we condemn them completely,” the statement read.

“It is important to note that Mr. Fonda plays a very minor role in the film.  To pull or alter this film at this point would unfairly penalize the filmmaker Shana Feste’s accomplishment, the many actors, crew members and other creative talent that worked hard on the project.”

Fonda made the tweet during a late-night online rant against Trump and his administration’s family separation policy against undocumented migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” the actor wrote in all-caps. “And see if mother will stand up against the giant a-hole she is married to.”

The tweet received a swift backlash, with Donald Trump Jr. calling Fonda a “sick individual” in a response tweet. Fonda deleted the tweet and issued an apology.

“I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television,” he wrote. “Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”

Fonda has a minor role in the upcoming film “Boundaries,” which will be released on five screens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. After condemning Fonda on Twitter, Trump Jr. noted Fonda’s presence in the film and floated the idea of him being removed from the final cut, comparing it to ABC cancelling the hit show “Roseanne” just hours after lead star Roseanne Barr posted racist tweets.

“I wonder if they will apply the same rules to [Fonda] that they did to [Barr.]” Trump Jr. tweeted. “I have a strange suspicion that they wont [sic] do anything.”

Earlier Wednesday, after pressure from politicians and protesters, Trump signed an executive order ending the family separation policy and calling for immigration cases involving families to take priority to reduce their waiting time.

However, the policy does not contain provisions for the estimated 2,300 children that have already been separated from their families to be reunited, and also orders that families will be detained by the Department of Homeland Security “to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations” and possibly indefinitely.

The order also calls for the preparation of additional detention centers, many of which will be created at military facilities run by the Department of Defense.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Fonda Apologizes for 'Highly Inappropriate' Barron Trump Tweet: 'I Went Way Too Far'

'Boundaries' Star Peter Fonda's Threatening Barron Trump Tweet Puts Sony Classics Film on Hot Seat

Peter Fonda Suggests Separating Donald Trump's Son Barron: 'Put Him in a Cage With Pedophiles'

Donald Trump Jr. Confronts Sony Pictures Classics Over ‘Boundaries’ Release in Wake of Peter Fonda Comments

In a tweet posted late last night, veteran Hollywood star Peter Fonda issued some strong (read: all-caps) words regarding President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy which has led to the forced separation of thousands of children and their parents at the Mexican board. In a now-deleted tweet (which you can see on TheWrap), Fonda wrote: “WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF HIS MOTHER WILL WILL [SIC] STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT ASSHOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO.”

Fonda’s suggestion that the Trumps’ youngest son be “put in a cage with pedophiles” appeared to reference a recent news story (via NBC News) regarding a Texas sheriff’s deputy who was charged earlier this week for “super aggravated sexual assault” of a 4-year-old girl after her mother, an undocumented immigrant, said she was “being blackmailed to stay silent about the abuse — or face deportation.”

While that story has stirred up recent outrage, it’s hardly the first of its kind. In May of this year, the ACLU issued a report that found “widespread allegations of misconduct by U.S. border authorities toward children, including kicking one in the ribs, denying medical attention to a pregnant teen who complained of pain and threatening others with sexual abuse.”

In another tweet, also deleted by the actor, Fonda said that protesters should “get the addresses of the Ice Agents CBP agents and surround their homes in protest. We should find out what schools their children go to and surround the schools in protest.”

Both tweets were met with condemnation from Trump supporters, including his son Donald Trump Jr., who has used it as an opportunity to target Sony Pictures Classics, which is releasing the Shana Feste film “Boundaries” later this week, one that feature Fonda in a supporting role. Trump Jr. and his followers also took to Twitter to call for a response from the distributor, with Trump Jr. writing, “I wonder if they will apply the same rules to @iamfonda that they did to @therealroseanne.”

ABC notably cancelled Roseanne Barr’s eponymous show after she came under fire for sending racist tweets. Sony Pictures Classics is owned by the Sony Corporation, which has no relation to ABC. You can see some of Trump’s tweets below.

Moreover, The Wrap reports that “Melania Trump’s spokesperson was quick to denounce Fonda: ‘The tweet is sick and irresponsible and USSS has been notified.'” The outlet added, “the U.S. Secret Service told TheWrap that is aware of the tweet but declined to offer any additional comments.”

While Fonda deleted his initial tweet, he did issue two follow-ups that offered his support for an upcoming planned nationwide protest.

IndieWire has reached out to Sony Pictures Classics for comment.

‘Boundaries’ Star Peter Fonda’s Threatening Barron Trump Tweet Puts Sony Classics Film on Hot Seat

Peter Fonda and Sony Pictures Classics are now facing backlash after the actor suggested in a tweet that someone “rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant a-hole she is married to.”

The tweet has since been deleted, but it did not go unnoticed by the White House.

Barron Trump is of course the son of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump. Donald Trump Jr. is has asked Sony to take action.

Fonda is set to star alongside Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga in “Boundaries.” The film, which is scheduled for release June 22, centers around a woman (Farmiga) who is forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father (Plummer) across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.

Representatives for Sony Pictures Classics did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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‘Boundaries’ Film Review: Vera Farmiga-Christopher Plummer Road Trip Has Its Limits

“Boundaries” opens with the kind of percolatingly funny character peek that gives you hope for the journey ahead. Writer-director Shana Feste, her camera trained on Vera Farmiga’s face during a therapy session focused on her character Laura, allows you to watch an open-hearted, well-meaning woman trying to assert herself, yet all too easily revealing just how uphill this particular challenge is.

The cracks in the armor come in Farmiga’s amusing little bursts of defensiveness, until the last disappointment: a professional voice offscreen gently pointing out how the rescue dog in Laura’s bag violates the limits previously set for her excessive adopting. It ends the scene with that sweet spot for any comedy that strives at all to feel human: frailty, goodness, and humiliation in equal measure.

Laura’s biggest self-help concern, as she struggles with relationships and raising a bullied misfit of a teenager (Lewis MacDougall, “A Monster Calls”), is processing how to set parameters regarding her unreliable father Jack (Christopher Plummer), a weaselly figure whose calls to Laura show up on her smartphone as “Don’t Pick Up!” And when dad finally gets one of those calls answered, which pushes a reluctant Laura back into his life, we sense something potentially achy-funny in two gifted actors butting heads over past grudges and new hiccups.

Would that the rest of “Boundaries” carried that initial mom-in-the-headlights scene’s undiluted, appealingly revelatory approach to character-based humor. Instead, Feste sets this dispiritingly accommodating, maladroit woman on a fairly cardboard-cut journey of psychological breakthroughs about her nogoodnik pops via that overused forced-closeness device: the road trip. One wishes Feste, whose spotty track record includes the sturm-und-twang drama “Country Strong” and the excoriated remake of “Endless Love,” had checked to see if there was any gas left in the tank of this genre before committing to its well-worn byways.

It’s a shame, since Feste has supposedly taken a page from her own life as inspiration for “Boundaries,” the press notes pointing to the writer-director’s own friendly-furious relationship with a ne’er-do-well dad as the source material. Why, then, does Jack leap off the screen, while Laura recedes into patsy-hood? Farmiga’s no slouch in the layered-wreck department, but the ease with which Laura falls for Jack’s shenanigans make for a magnetism imbalance from which the movie never quite recovers.

A pair of expulsions trigger the initially-Seattle-set story: her son Henry’s from high school (for another of the budding artist’s favorite getting-to-know-you renderings, the pornographic portrait) and Jack’s from his senior-living facility for unexplained offenses. For Laura, it’s an opportunity to fuse stress (Jack) and opportunity (finding a good private school to foster Henry’s talent) into a deal with her father: help pay for Henry’s tuition, and she’ll nip his homelessness in the bud by driving him down to Los Angeles, where Jack’s other daughter Jojo (an expectedly nutty Kristen Schaal) is eager for extended daddy time.

The problem is that Feste, through Jack, sets up Laura to be an unwitting sap; Jack agrees to the arrangement because it’s a golden opportunity to secretly sell the marijuana he’s been growing, first to a hippie art-forger pal (Christopher Lloyd) during an overnight stay, then, in a move sold as a sentimental request from Henry to see his absentee dad, to Laura’s wastrel of an ex (Bobby Cannavale).

With every male in the movie in on a deception that you know, once discovered, will jeopardize Laura’s emotional health and possibly her freedom, “Boundaries” quickly loses its friskiness and begins to feel like a cruel prank on a well-meaning, if not exactly well-reasoned, soul. (Even the fact that there are rescue dogs in tow on this trip feels like little comfort for Laura.)

That was surely not Feste’s intention — the vibe is vinegary but kooky/sentimental — yet there’s also little that veers off the beaten path in terms of the cutting humor, the misadventure stuff, or the inevitable ticker-tugging. When Peter Fonda shows up as a well-off retired dealer pal of Jack’s, “Boundaries” makes steps toward giving a pair of screen legends a shot at unforced charisma, but the scene is quickly dampened by a dumb bit.

By the end, people say things intended to bring resolution, including Laura’s expectedly cathartic telling off of her piece-of-work rich-woman boss by long distance. But so much of “Boundaries” coasts on hackneyed complications and characters’ self-defeating actions that one wonders why we should believe anything anybody says. (What was delusional but funny about that first therapy scene has by now become suspiciously story-beat sincere.)

Plummer, of course, invests Jack with rascally, impatient life that actors half his age — and he’s 88 — would kill to emit so gracefully. But his character probably belongs in a retirement home heist movie, not the regrettably low-boil misfits-seeing-each-other heartwarmer that Feste believes in as blindly as Laura does her dad’s ability to not disappoint.

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Nantucket Film Festival To Open With Shana Feste’s ‘Boundaries’

The 23rd Nantucket Film Festival will open June 20 with Sony Pictures Classics’ Boundaries, which is written and directed by Shana Feste and stars Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga in the lead father-daughter roles. Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lloyd and Kristen Schaal also star. Organizers said the festival will close June 25 with Love, Gilda, the CNN Films documentary about Gilda Radner that just had its world premiere last week at the Tribeca Film…

‘Boundaries’ Trailer: Christopher Plummer Wants to Drive Cross-Country With His Family (And Also Sell a Lot of Weed)

Talk about a road trip. “Country Strong” director Shana Feste is back on the big screen with a very funny, very personal slice of life that’s, well, literally sliced right from her own life.

In “Boundaries,” Vera Farmiga steps in as a Feste-surrogate (the film is loosely based on the filmmaker’s own family life and a trip she took with her dad back in the ’80s), who is forced to embark on a wacky road trip with her drug dealer dad Jack (Christopher Plummer). It already sounds ill-fated on paper — Jack has recently been kicked out of his nursing home for his bad behavior, and he’s hellbent on living it up while the family drives cross-country to deliver him to Farmiga’s sister, played by Kristen Schaal — but only gets more off-kilter as the wheels keep spinning.

The film also features “A Monster Calls” breakout Lewis MacDougall as Farmgia’s son, assuring the film can at least boast one of the best on-screen families the summer has to offer. (And that’s to say nothing of the rest of the supporting cast, including Peter Fonda and Bobby Cannavale.)

“We clicked right away; me with Plummer is like a dog left alone with his hamburger,” Farmiga told Entertainment Weekly of the actors’ dynamic. “The world just drops away, and I eat him up because he’s so delicious. Don’t let his prestige and his fancy-schmancy aura fool you. He’s a clown, he’s a jester, the sort of person you just laugh with most of the time. He’s the goddamn life of the party still at 88.”

The film debuted at SXSW, where our Eric Kohn wrote that “it’s rewarding enough to hang with these characters and roll with their mudslinging…its message of learning to love your relatives in spite of their flaws registering on a far simpler scale than the undercurrent of multi-generational resentment percolating throughout the story.” Check out the first trailer for “Boundaries,” thanks to EW, below.

“Boundaries” opens on June 22.

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‘Boundaries’ Review: Christopher Plummer Is a Weed Dealer and Vera Farmiga’s Dad in Endearing Road Trip Comedy — SXSW 2018

Road trip movies are among the oldest indie film clichés in the book, and often one of the lamest, especially when they involve estranged relatives healing their differences. To the credit of “Boundaries,” Shana Feste’s comedy about single mom Laura (Vera Farming) hauling her pot-dealing dad Jack (Christopher Plummer) across California, these familiar beats have a ring of maturity that elevates the stale material. While it never quite shakes the deja vu, a set of sharp performances and insightful character details elevate the material above low expectations.

As “Boundaries” begin, Laura’s problems have nothing to do with her deadbeat dad. Her cramped Seattle home is overrun with abandoned animals she can’t stop taking in, nabbing every stray that falls into her sight (in the first scene, she sneaks a kitten into her bag before visiting her therapist). Her teen son Henry (Lewis MacDougall, in a smarmy shift from his “A Monster Calls” performance) struggles from bullying at a local high school, and while her mom wants to send him to a private art school instead, she lacks the funds.

Enter Jack, who has been kicked out of his nursing home across the state for his drug-dealing antics and begs Laura to get him out of there. It’s instantly clear that Plummer’s foul-mouthed troublemaker will provide the movie with its key to elevating the basic formula. “You geriatric sons of bitches,” he growls at the nursing home’s board with a half-smirk, and he’s just getting started.

Jack makes a deal: Help him leave the nursing home and he’ll give her the money to pay for Henry’s education. Once they arrive, however, the situation grows more complicated. He wants to drive, he says, because he’s dying; privately to Henry, however, he says it’s because he needs to transport loads of marijuana in the trunk. So begins the trio’s journey, which finds them dropping in on Laura’s crude ex-husband (a slimy Bobby Canavale), one of Jack’s aging hippie friends (Christopher Lloyd, eyes-bulging alongside a maniacal grin), and another more refined pal who’s basically just an excuse to give Peter Fonda a fun cameo.

As the family careens through California to drop Jack with Laura’s sister (Kristen Schaal, goofy and hilarious as usual), Jack veers from self-serving jerk who could care less about his family to show some modicum of empathy, but only once the situation veers out of control.

There are no big twists in “Boundaries,” and the small ones that do arrive late in the game could have been predicted by most savvy viewers from the first act. But the “Little Miss Sunshine” clichés have been supplanted by a welcome dose of snark thanks to Plummer, who couldn’t be in more different territory from his “All the Money in the World” turn, and Feste’s screenplay. While J. Paul Getty rejected his family for selfish reasons and preferred to brood on his own, Jack thrives on making them uncomfortable. To Henry, he asserts, “Even pedophiles steer clear of your bad vibes.”

Henry himself is an innocent observer in the uneasy dynamic between Jack and his daughter, played by Farmiga with a jittery angst that provides a great reminder that she’s one of the most engaging American actresses working today. Laura’s frantic expression of frustrations become the movie’s core engine, and as she grows increasingly exasperated, her animal fixation goes from neurotic impulse to logical coping mechanism. Plus, all the dogs are adorable.

Needless to say, “Boundaries” breaks no fresh ground and sags into conventional story beats on autopilot, but it’s rewarding enough to hang with these characters and roll with their mudslinging. Eventually, the trip grows tiresome, its message of learning to love your relatives in spite of their flaws registering on a far simpler scale than the undercurrent of multi-generational resentment percolating throughout the story. Feste can’t help but give up and resort to a basic happy ending, and while it works well enough on its own terms, it’s also the sort of thing that Jack would probably turn off after five minutes.

Grade: B

“Boundaries” premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics will release it later this year.

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