According to The Wrap, METALLICA's new movie, "Metallica Through The Never", opened this weekend to an estimated $1.67 million — the best opening for a concert film ever at IMAX theaters. The movie, which debuted on 308 3D IMAX screens, earned an estimated $780,000 on its first day. That gave the film a per-location average of $5,482. A blend of concert movie and fictional narrative, it will expand to 650 theaters next weekend.
Financed by the METALLICA members themselves at a budget of $18 million, "Metallica Through The Never" is the first new release via Picturehouse, the full-service independent film marketing and distribution company started in 2005, which reopened its doors with founder Bob Berney at the helm. The film, written and directed by Nimród Antal ("Kontroll", "Predators"), stars members of the iconic rock band and Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle", "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"). DeHaan plays a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down.
"The hardest thing in Hollywood is trying to sell an idea that has no point of reference," METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told the Los Angeles Times. "If you can't sit there and go, 'It's like 'The Bourne Identity' meets 'Private Ryan' meets 'Star Trek', they just look at you like, 'What are you talking about?'"
Berney told The Wall Street Journal that "Through The Never" doesn't need to draw the uninitiated to theaters for the film to succeed. The band's fans — hardcore or casual — are enough. "Maybe we can wake up the ones who haven't thought about them for a while, like the guy in the cubicle with the METALLICA shirt on under his suit," he said.
"We decided we needed to make this unique," METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told QMI Agency about the "Through The Never" movie. "So we came up with the concept of having a running narrative in the movie that weaves in and out of the concert footage. We liked that idea enough to tell our managers, 'This is the type of movie we want to make.'"
"I think that METALLICA fans that are really into action films and movies with a lot of energy are going to be blown away," Ulrich told Revolver magazine. "This is a very unique film. I don’t know what people are going to think of it. I like it. But obviously I’m biased."
The soundtrack, which features a number of METALLICA classics performed live in the movie, was released on September 24. The two-disc CD came out on METALLICA's own label, Blackened Recordings, also in digital and vinyl formats.
The concert sequences for the movie were shot in August 2012 at two shows in Vancouver, Canada and feature a stage containing elements of many of METALLICA's previous live productions from the past 30 years.