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mother! studio defends Jennifer Lawrence movie after audience revolt

‘We don’t want all movies to be safe. And it’s okay if some people don’t like it.’

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Paramount is standing by its mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s trippy thriller bowed this weekend to an anemic $7.5 million at the box office and a rare F CinemaScore from audiences. Even with a marquee star like Jennifer Lawrence, that debut doesn’t suggest good news for the mother! box office prospects. Still, the film’s distributor, Paramount, is championing Aronofsky’s creative accomplishments.

“This movie is very audacious and brave,” Paramount worldwide president of marketing and distribution Megan Colligan told The Hollywood Reporter. “You are talking about a director at the top of his game, and an actress at the top her game. They made a movie that was intended to be bold. Everyone wants original filmmaking, and everyone celebrates Netflix when they tell a story no one else wants to tell. This is our version. We don’t want all movies to be safe. And it’s okay if some people don’t like it.”

Despite the dismal audience reaction, critics have been more split on mother!, which has earned a 69 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the titular character, whose idyllic life with husband Javier Bardem is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer). From there, well… things get a bit unhinged.

“Anytime you do something that aggressive there are going to be people who enjoy it, who want to be on that roller coaster ride, and then there are others who say, ‘Oh no, that was not for me,'” Aronofsky told EW last week. “It’s a strange one. You see Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer and people are conditioned for a certain type of movie. And… we didn’t do that type of movie.”

mother! is in theaters now.