“Asteroid City” is set in 1955 as a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention is spectacularly disrupted by world-altering events. It is headlined by Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hanks. Anderson, whose credits include ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, has had a remarkably enduring career despite generally not having huge box office hits, with the exception of ‘Grand Budapest Hotel” ($163.5 million worldwide / $31 million budget).
Still, Anderson has had a consistent appeal, and his movies tend to last. The appeal of its good name is welcome at this time, as the industry desperately tries to find a way forward in the aftermath of the pandemic. The streaming business is in flux, even the big franchise movies aren’t performing as expected right now (with bloated budgets not helping matters), and the original movies are having near impossible weather outside of the streaming. A24’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was truly the exception, not the rule.
That being the case, the success Anderson is currently enjoying in the midst of a crowded summer movie season is a welcome surprise. It offers hope that mid-budget theatrical originals still have a future.
“Asteroid City” is in theaters now.