Updated May 23, 2022 - Economy & Business

Michelle Yeoh and new film defy expectations

actress Michelle Yeoh on stage accepting award in pink dress
Actress Michelle Yeoh in Los Angeles. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Legendary actress Michelle Yeoh leads in the arthouse film "Everything Everywhere All at Once," which has overtaken “Uncut Gems" as the highest grossing A24 movie stateside.

Why it matters: A24, an indie studio which has produced Oscar winner "Moonlight" and the highly acclaimed "Lady Bird," likely has its next Oscar contender in “Everything, Everywhere.”

  • Yeoh, the character she plays in the film (an aging immigrant woman who owns a laundromat) and the film’s success have defied expectations about the kinds of movies that draw people to theaters.

Catch up quick: "Everything Everywhere" has made $52.3 million domestically, according to Forbes.

  • When it surpasses "House of Gucci," it will have made more than any of last year’s Oscar-season awards releases except for “Dune,” according to GQ.

State of play: Nearly half of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer returning. "Everything Everywhere's" success is surprising because analysts had predicted people will only turn out to theaters for superhero epics.

  • "Instead, a weird, small-budget film without any household names on the marquee took in an astonishing $50,130 per theater when it opened in 10 locations … better than Walt Disney Co.’s ‘The Avengers,’ which debuted in more than 4,300 cinemas in 2012," Bloomberg notes.

What she's saying: Yeoh, 59, has been a star for decades, having played roles in "James Bond," “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and "Star Trek: Discovery," but says this titular role is one that really appealed to her.

  • "Science tells us women outlive men. But even with extra time, we have to get a lot more done," Yeoh said as she accepted Gold House's legend award at the inaugural Gold Gala, the largest gathering of top Asian and Pacific Islander cultural leaders in history.
  • "God forbid you are a woman of over 50 building something of your own," she added.

The big picture: “[U]nless your last name happens to be Streep or McDormand, chances are you’re not working much in film [if you're an aging actress]," Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, told USA Today after her annual report was published last year.

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