MGM financed this John Candy vehicle for $18 million with some capital from Star Partners III Ltd. Less than four months after MGM and Pathé merged, they were beset with cash flow trouble and could not come up with the $7 million needed for P&A to release Delirious on March 8, 1991. After settling with their creditors and freeing up enough cash to get most of their completed films into release, Delirious was scheduled for August 9, 1991 which was not even three months after another Candy film Only The Lonely was released. The film received awful reviews and had major competition from a glut of comedy fare in release, like Hot Shots!, Doc Hollywood, Pure Luck and Bingo. Delirious was a box office disaster, opening outside the top 10 at #13 with $1,803,059 in 1,142 theaters — when Hot Shots! led the weekend. The pic showed no legs and fell 50.3% to $896,195 and quickly left theaters with $5,546,827.
Warner Bros co-financed this Sandra Bullock vehicle, which is an adaption of the 2005 documentary of the same name, with Participant Media and RatPac-Dune for $28 million. Participant, which is run by Ebay founder Jeff Skoll, formed his production and financing shingle in 2004 to focus on activism and social issues through film. The decision to premier Our Brand Is Crisis at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September deflated any hype the film might have had when it bowed to mixed reviews and much indifference. For a film with limited commercial appeal and a deadly release date dumped on the slow Halloween weekend, Warner Bros has given Our Brand Is Crisis a solid marketing push, with $17.4 million worth of TV spots (data from iSpotTV) and a domestic P&A spend that is at the minimum, the cost of its budget. The film was tracking for a $6 million opening weekend and came in below its already low expectations with a miserable $3,238,433 — placing #8 for the weekend led by The Martian and behind fellow opener and flop Burnt. The few that showed up opening day also gave Our Brand Is Crisis a terrible C+ cinemascore, which led to a quick box office death. The pic saw a steep 56% second weekend decline to $1,424,033, falling out of the top 10 and placing #11 and closed its domestic run with just $7,002,261. The film is scheduled to open in a few overseas markets in early 2016 and after the atrocious domestic numbers, Warner Bros is unlikely to invest in an expensive rollout.
Rock The Kasbah was financed by QED International and Venture Forth for $15 million and QED handled worldwide pre-sales, which would limit their exposure to the modest budget. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions picked up UK, Latin America, Spain and Eastern Europe rights and Open Road (joint distribution between cinema chains Regal and AMC) picked up US rights. This poorly reviewed film from Barry Levinson initially had an April 24 release date, before being pushed back to November 13 and finally moved to October 23 where it played in empty theaters, along with fellow openers The Last Witch Hunter and Jem And The Holograms. Open Road booked Rock The Kasbah in 2,012 theaters, where it pulled in $533,132 on its opening day with an exceptionally terrible $265 per screen average and the weekend total amounted to just $1,470,592. Open Road also plunked down millions on over 2,700 TV spots for the film, plus millions on radio, print, online, poster, etc — which should leave Open Road heavily in the red for their P&A spend and unreported acquisition amount. Both Rock The Kasbah and Jem and The Holograms have unseated the Zac Efron starrer We Are Your Friends for its place as the worst opening of 2015 and one of the worst numbers for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters. Rock The Kasbah fell a huge 75.9% to $354,955 in its second frame and was pulled out of all but 201 theaters going into its third weekend at the box office. The pic pulled in a mere $59,021 in its third frame and closed its domestic run with $3,020,664.
The Last Witch Hunter is another failed attempt by Lionsgate to spawn a series after Mortdecai, American Ultra and Child 44 were all groomed by Lionsgate to be their next big franchise in 2015. Lionsgate wisely mitigates their risk on expensive projects by pre-selling the film to overseas distributors and their financial model usually leaves them on the line for around $13 million of the production costs — plus the ever growing expense of domestic marketing, which usually runs north of $30 million. Back in March 2014, Lakeshore Entertainment boarded the film as co-financier with Lionsgate, but Lakeshore quietly left the project, so it is unknown if Lionsgate is shouldering more of the budget than they usually do on big budget fare. The Last Witch Hunter cost an estimated $80 million and opened in the US way below expectations with a poor $10,812,861 — placing #4 for the weekend led by The Martian and it came in slightly ahead of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, which was playing in half the amount of theaters. The film fell 52.3% to $5,162,398 in its second weekend and saw a 49.7% third frame decline to $2,598,464 and closed its domestic box office run with $27,367,660. Lionsgate took a write-down of $7.2 million on the film. The Last Witch Hunter has fared slightly better in a few overseas markets, pulling in $96.6 million across many distributors.