Edgar Wright Says Filmmakers Should Learn From His Failures

Edgar Wright says filmmakers need to stop thinking about the opening weekend box office returns being a film's greatest judge.

By Joshua Jones | Published

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright has had a lot of setbacks in his career. Perhaps his most notable one is having to depart from Marvel Studios before doing his Ant-Man project. During his interview with THR, Wright spoke about other filmmakers’ reactions to his movies and his thoughts on the opening weekend box office determining whether a film is successful.

“I’ve said this to other filmmakers since who’ve maybe had a similar initial reaction to a film like Scott Pilgrim did, is that the three-day weekend is not the end of the story for any movie. People shouldn’t buy into that idea. Rating films by their box office is like the football fan equivalent to films.”

There is perhaps a bit of irony here, considering that Edgar Wright was once close to making a multi-million-dollar picture with Marvel Studios. The director recently created a four-hour film course that covers everything from pitching to screenwriting. Although Wright has never studied film in college, he does want to employ his wisdom to future filmmakers wanting to get their start in the industry.

Many of Edgar Wright’s films aren’t considered box office juggernauts. His most recent project, Last Night in Soho, grossed $23 million worldwide on a budget of $43 million. Before that, his 2017 action film Baby Driver cracked the $200 million range with a budget of $34 million.

Eiza Gonzalez Baby Driver
Eiza Gonzalez in Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver is a film that costs significantly less than most superhero box office fares; however, it didn’t receive the same level of attention as an MCU or DCEU film the year it came out. While many of Edgar Wright’s movies are highly regarded by film fanatics and critics, they don’t receive the same box office return as many other blockbuster films in the industry.

And that’s okay because Edgar Wright will be remembered for his craftsmanship behind the camera. Let’s not forget that Baby Driver earned numerous awards, including the Audience Award for Best Director at the South by Southwest film festival in 2017. Last Night in Soho was nominated for two BAFTA Film Awards, including Outstanding British Film and Best Sound.

Edgar Wright’s films may not be breaking any records, but they are examples of what the 48-year-old director can provide to the industry. In our review of Last Night in Soho, we stated that Wright pays homage to the glitz and glamor of showbiz in his “own disturbing, undeniably unsettling way.” In most of his projects, Wright can blend multiple genres while also giving his commentary on them.

With his new film course, Edgar Wright is looking to lend the expertise and knowledge he’s gained over the years. A true maverick in the industry, Wright wants everyone to know that you don’t need to break the bank to learn the art of filmmaking. Like Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, and others who came before him, Wright began by picking up a camera and telling his story regardless of whether it was considered “a box office win” or not.

Whatever the next Edgar Wright project turns out to be, fans can be sure it will be something the director has conjured up himself. He’ll tell the story he wants to tell on his own terms; box office be damned. Even if his next film tanks at the box office, it won’t mean the end of his already stellar Hollywood career.