Tom Hanks' A Man Called Otto Crossed $100 Million At The Box Office – And That's A Great Sign

Tom Hanks is, once again, proving his worth as one of the world's most beloved movie stars. While some of the actor's more recent work has been relegated to the streaming world (such as "Finch" and "Pinocchio"), Hanks made his return to the silver screen at the tail end of last year with "A Man Called Otto," a relatively rare adult-skewing movie that was, for all intents and purposes, an original film, even though it is adapted from the book by Fredrik Backman. Now, more than eight weeks into its run, the film has crossed a pretty impressive milestone.

As per The Numbers, director Marc Forster's latest has officially crossed the $100 million mark at the global box office. That includes $61.1 million domestic and $39.2 internationally for a grand total of $100.4 million. That is, without a doubt, rare air for this kind of movie in the pandemic era. Adult-focused movies have been dying on the vine for the past couple of years, with "She Said," "Tar," and "The Fabelmans" serving as just a few examples of movies that failed to bring out moviegoers en masse within the last handful of months. Even Steven Spielberg's latest has only mustered $31.4 million up to this point — and that's Spielberg!

This is to say, Sony Pictures has done well with this one and its lighthearted nature seems to be leading to great word of mouth and long legs. The movie, in short, focuses on a grumpy old widower (Hanks) who develops an unlikely friendship with a woman who moves in next door, who is part of a big, happy family. It currently holds a decent 69% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though the stellar 97% audience rating is far more telling here.

The bigger picture

That audience score indicates that people like this movie enough to encourage others to go and see it. That's why after it expanded wide in its fourth weekend and earned $12.8 million, it was able to leg it out and hold very well in the coming weeks. The movie is set to arrive on Digital early next week, with the Blu-ray arriving in mid-March, meaning that its domestic theatrical run is probably going to run out of gas. Be that as it may, it's not done yet and could/should finish with around $120 million (give or take).

Just about the only thing working against it right now is its $50 million production budget. That's a bit high for something like this and will undoubtedly prevent it from actually getting into profits through box office alone. That said, good word of mouth should make this a big hit on VOD as well — not to mention, Sony will collect some cash from Netflix for the streaming rights later this year. So it very well should, in the end, be a profitable venture, even if it's not a gigantic moneymaker.

More importantly, this proves that adult-focused movies can absolutely still be a viable concern theatrically. These movies don't have to be relegated to streaming or, worse, not made at all. Similarly, "The Lost City" ($190 million worldwide) and "Ticket to Paradise" ($168.5 million worldwide) proved that rom-coms aren't dead either. Even more encouraging is the fact that something like this doesn't necessarily have to cost $50 million to make in most cases. As the global box office continues to trend upward in 2023, studios should take note of "A Man Called Otto" and know that, with the right pieces in place, these films can still draw a crowd.