The Runaways movie review: In 1975, San Fernando Valley teen Joan Larkin reinvents herself as Joan Jett, a guitarist who wants to form an all-girl punk band. She pitches the idea to a sleazy manager, Kim Fowley, who pairs her with a drummer and then searches for a face: he finds Cherie Currie, at 15 the perfect jailbait image for his purpose; by luck, she can sing. Two others round out the band, The Runaways. Fowley books a tour, signs them to Mercury Records, and packs them off to crowds in Japan. Seeds of conflict sprout early: Fowley puts Cherie front and center in the publicity, she's soon strung out on pills and vodka, and jealousies arise.
The buzz: First-time feature writer-director Floria Sigismondi’s biopic scored at Sundance and definitely has a story worth telling. It remains to be seen if Stewart can shed the moodiness of “Twilight” and “Adventureland” to deliver real edge.
The verdict: The Runaways electrifies thanks to Shannon drooling over rock ‘n roll like an even sleazier Ari Gold, and Fanning, who perfectly balances budding sexuality and youthful naivete. Ultimately the film is sheer badass entertainment; it neither explores the battle of the sexes in rock music nor focuses on anyone but Currie or Jett, who's told early on, “Girls don’t play electric guitars. “The Runaways” simply snarls and rocks its way to showing how a bunch of teenagers changed that.
Box Office: Its opening weekend gross was $805,115—placing it at #18 at the box office. Apparition changed their marketing strategy and began to target older arthouse demographics April 9, by which time The Runaways had grossed approximately $2 million. It left theaters June 3 with a domestic gross of $3,573,653.