EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Russell Crowe is hoping to get audiences back into movie theaters with this latest film. 

"Unhinged" will be the first major movie release since the pandemic closed down theaters earlier this year. The movie will open wide August 21 on more than 2,000 screens across North America.  

"I think from an economic confidence point of view, from a community confidence point of view, the reopening of the cinemas is a basic way of regaining and retracing some normalcy that has gone out of our lives," said Crowe.

The road rage thriller follows an unstable man who confronts a woman at an intersection, and the drama only escalates from there. While most studios continue to delay the release of films, Crowe feels "Unhinged" is the perfect escapism to get butts back into theater seats.

"The theories on why this would be the right film is the that all the crazy s*** is happening on the scene, not in your real life, so it’s kind of a relief," he said. "As fraught with tension, and as wild the ride is ,it takes us back to a situation that we probably prefer where we can just go view the crazy stuff as opposed to actually living it." 

Here are five things you need to know about Crowe's new film and how it's ushering in the return of theatrical releases: 

  1. The film began an international release on July 16 in Germany, and then on July 31 across Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America.
  2. In its first week of release in Canada earlier this month, the film made $601,032. Internationally, it has made $4,369,869 so far.
  3. Crowe thanks research for the movie's U.S. release, saying, "I think they [the studio] looked at the research that people were gathering by the exhibitors, where you have a situation of the second most missed thing with people who were isolated at the moment, after wanting to see friends and family, they missed is going to the cinema, and that surprised me and surprised them."
  4. The 56-year-old New Zealander wants audiences to get a piece of their pre-COVID life back, saying, "here we are in this situation where’s it’s affecting the globe, it’s affecting every one of us — some more than others — but we’ve all had our lives adjusted by this situation and what we are yearning for are things that make our normality feel regained."
  5. With some movie theater chains slowly opening, hoping to win over the trust and support of loyal moviegoers, Crowe trusts the precautions they're taking, saying, "who knows what normal is down the track, but we’ll see. There has been a lot of work put in by the local governments, the exhibitors, by the distributors trying to work out how to see a movie and remain safe. That work is being done, there’s just a big yearning for this stuff in front of us to get out of the way and for our lives to rebound and restart."

"Unhinged" hits theaters Aug. 21.