The Photograph (2020 film)

The Photograph is a 2020 American romantic drama film written and directed by Stella Meghie. It follows the estranged daughter (Issa Rae) of a famous photographer who falls in love with the journalist (Lakeith Stanfield) who is investigating her late mother's life. Chelsea Peretti, Lil Rel Howery and Courtney B. Vance also star.

The Photograph
The Photograph poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStella Meghie
Produced by
Written byStella Meghie
Music byRobert Glasper
CinematographyMark Schwartzbard
Edited byShannon Baker Davis
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • February 14, 2020 (2020-02-14)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$16 million[1]
Box office$20.7 million[2][1]

The film was released in the United States on February 14, 2020, by Universal Pictures. It received generally favorable reviews from critics and has grossed $20 million.


"When famed photographer Christina Eames unexpectedly dies, she leaves her estranged daughter Mae Morton (Rae) hurt, angry and full of questions. When a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box is found, Mae finds herself on a journey delving into her mother’s early life and ignites a powerful, unexpected romance with a rising-star journalist, Michael Block (Stanfield)."[3]

— Universal Pictures



It was announced in March 2019 that Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield would star in the film, with Stella Meghie writing and directing.[4] Chelsea Peretti, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Y'lan Noel, Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris, Rob Morgan, and Courtney B. Vance were added to the cast shortly after.[5][6][7][8][9]

Principal photography began in March 2019.[10]


Box officeEdit

The Photograph was released in the United States on February 14, 2020 by Universal Pictures.[11] It was released alongside Fantasy Island, Sonic the Hedgehog and Downhill, and was projected to gross $12 million to $15 million from 2,516 theaters in its opening weekend.[12] The film made $6.3 million on its first day, including $650,000 from Thursday night previews. It debuted to $13.4 million, finishing fourth at the box office.[13] The film dropped 77% in its second weekend to $2.8 million, finishing 10th and marking the 25th biggest second-week decline ever.[14][15]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 89 reviews, with an average rating of 6.75/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Gorgeous visuals, an affecting love story, and simmering chemistry between Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield keep The Photograph solidly in focus."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported it received an average 3 out of 5 stars, with 49% of people saying they definitely would recommend it.[13]


  1. ^ a b "The Photograph (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Photograph (2020)". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  3. ^ "The Photograph (2020 Movie) | Cast & Synopsis | February 14, 2020". Universal Pictures. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (March 18, 2019). "Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield to Star in Stella Meghie's 'The Photograph'". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda; N'Duka, Amanda (March 21, 2019). "'Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Chelsea Peretti Joins Issa Rae & LaKeith Stanfield In 'The Photograph'". Deadline. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 22, 2019). "'The Photograph': Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones & Y'lan Noel Set For Uni's Romance Drama". Deadline. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 26, 2019). "Lil Rel Howery, Teyonah Parris, Rob Morgan to Co-Star in 'The Photograph' From Director Stella Meghie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 27, 2019). "Emmy Winner Courtney B. Vance Hops in 'The Photograph'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  9. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (April 9, 2019). "The OA's Kingsley Ben-Adir Boards Universal's 'The Photograph'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Rae, Issa (March 18, 2019). "Day one of shooting her movie. #ThePhotograph". Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (April 9, 2019). "Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield Romantic Drama 'The Photograph' Sets Valentine's Day 2020 Release". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  12. ^ Rebecca Rubin (February 12, 2020). "'Sonic' to Speed Past 'Birds of Prey,' 'Fantasy Island' at Box Office". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  13. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 15, 2020). "'Sonic The Hedgehog' Runs Up $3M in Thursday Night Previews". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "Biggest Theater Drops". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 23, 2020). "'Hedgehog' Bites Back At 'Wild' Dog As 'Sonic' Speeds To No. 1 With $26M+; $203M+ WW – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  16. ^ "The Photograph (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  17. ^ "The Photograph Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 6, 2020.

External linksEdit