Super 8 topped this weekend’s box office with an impressive $37 million, but J.J. Abrams’ top-secret Spielberg homage wasn’t the toughest ticket to find. There was another mysterious film that moviegoers really want to piece together, and the lucky ones were willing to stand in lines that wrapped around city blocks to see Terrence Malick’s beautiful and symbolic Tree of Life.
The Brad Pitt drama about… well, we’re all still trying to figure that out, actually… pulled in a staggering $18,617 per screen average (nearly double what Super 8 did) at only 47 theaters. Word of mouth, both good and bad since the film premiered at Cannes, is sending curious moviegoers out in droves. But for those who don’t live near New York City (where, as of Friday, June 17, the movie will be playing on every screen at downtown Manhattan’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema due to the incredible demand), Los Angeles, or other major metropolitan city-adjacent, the drive to actually go see Tree of Life might be longer than the film itself (138 minutes, for the record). Though, more folks should get the opportunity to see Tree of Life soon, and possibly near, as Fox Searchlight confirmed to EW that the film will be added to 68 new theaters this weekend and roughly 200 in the following week.
Having lived in and near cities most of my life, I’ve been lucky enough that I’m always within 30 minutes of an art house theater. Still, I know plenty of people from suburban and rural areas who have made the often long journey to see both smaller, limited-release films like Tree of Life or an IMAX version of an enormous blockbuster like Harry Potter.
It made me curious, PopWatchers: What’s the farthest you’ve traveled to see a film, either in limited release or otherwise? Did you turn The Tree of Life into a road trip? Have you ventured off into the good night to ensure you could see indies like Midnight in Paris or Before Sunrise? Or did you travel the world and the seven seas to make sure you saw popcorn flicks like Titanic or Pirates of the Caribbean on the really big screen? And, were they worth the drive? Be sure to share in the comments section below!