Legendary Films had a rough start to 2015, releasing two large scale flops with Blackhat and Seventh Son.
Blackhat was entirely financed by Legendary Pictures and the marketing spend was also covered by Legendary who distributed through Universal, who received a fee for using their distribution channel. After a new 30% tax rebate for filming in Malaysia and other tax incentive friendly locations, the budget was reported at about $70m and after a disastrous US opening weekend at $3,901,815 and a terrible C minus cinemascore from audiences, Blackhat’s gross would lead to a $90m write down on the $70m film. Blackhat dropped 57.3% in its second frame to $1,667,975 and quickly closed at the box office with just $7,889,395. After the poor domestic total Universal pulled the Australian theatrical release and dumped it straight to video. Overseas has pulled in a poor $9.8m and most markets have not reported its dismal earnings. The film opened in a modest wide release in the UK in 149 theaters to a terrible $226,802 and placing #14 for the weekend and no further UK numbers have been reported.
Legendary Films also did not have any financial partners on Seventh Son, an expensive $95m film with tens of millions more in marketing costs. The film was set up for distribution through Warner Bros and once the partnership between the two companies ended and numerous release dates postponed, the film finally saw release through Universal’s distribution arm. With an expensive worldwide ad spend covered by Legendary, Seventh Son ended as an $85m write down for Legendary. The film opened in the US to a terrible $7,217,640 and fell a modest 42.5% in its second weekend to $4,151,780 but sank 76.7% in its third weekend to $967,700. The Seventh Son ended its run with just $17,223,265. Overseas, the film has pulled in a decent $27.5m in China and its overseas total is an ok $92.6m, but not nearly enough to offset the poor domestic numbers and a budget of this size.
Despite the massive loss between the two films, Legendary is still in healthy shape, with $600m in credit from JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, which expires in 2016, the company is currently raising an additional $700m from investors. In what will also offset the terrible performances of Blackhat and Seventh Son, Legendary has Jurassic World opening shortly.