15 MINUTES (2001) — Filmed back in 1999, this $42 million Robert De Niro and Ed Burns starrer collected dust at New Line for two years before it saw a release. 15 Minutes opened to poor reviews and came in #2 with $10,523,154 during a very slow weekend when The Mexican topped the charts. 15 Minutes had terrible legs at the box office and collapsed 59.1% the following weekend with $4,300,356 and closed its US run with $24,403,552. A month later New Line would also unload their delayed fiasco Town and Country. New Line sold off overseas distribution for 15 Minutes, which would help limit their exposure to the budget and their pricey P&A spend and the film did soft business for every distributor that snatched up the title. The overseas gross was $31,956,428 across many distributors. Director John Herzfeld helmed two features after 15 Minutes, a Paul Walker action flick Bobby Z, which was dumped straight to video and the low budget Reach Me, which also went without a theatrical release.
COMPANY BUSINESS (1991) — Rushed into production without a completed script, this mess of a production saw writer/director Nicholas Meyer regret the experience and his battles with Gene Hackman who tried to get out of filming two weeks before the cameras started rolling and interference from the studio. Budgeted at an estimated $18 million by Pathe, who recently purchased MGM without the proper capital to have the studio function — Company Business was one of many major flops for MGM/Pathe in 1991, which saw only Thelma And Louise pull in any respectable box office numbers. MGM/Pathe dumped Company Business in 232 theaters where it pulled in $533,610 and quickly closed its run with just $1,501,785.
DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (1995) — This Denzel Washington vehicle was released just a little over a month after his box office dud Virtuosity came and went and despite strong reviews, Devil In A Blue Dress ended up as a surprise flop. Sony financed the film through their TriStar subsidiary for $27 million and invested $15 million in a domestic P&A spend and it opened far below expectations with $5,422,385 placing #3 for the weekend when Seven was #1 for its second week in a row. Sony was apparently hoping the young black male demo would turn the movie into a success, but the following weekend Dead Presidents stole much of Devil’s audience and the film dropped 44.5% to $3,010,805 and bombed out of release with just $16,140,822.
MALONE (1987) — Burt Reynolds’ career was in free fall, starring in a huge volume of releases in the late 80s with quality control that consisted of a check that could be cashed. Malone was financed and distributed in the US by Orion for an estimated $10 million and they released the Reynolds vehicle in 1,326 theaters to a disastrous $1,377,691 placing outside the top 10 at #11. Malone tumbled 52.2% in its second frame to $658,919 and was quickly out of release with just $3,060,858.
SHATTERED (1991) — Wolfgang Petersen’s second American film was this $22 million production, which was financed by Pathe and they were to pay for distribution through Warner Bros. After production, Pathe purchased troubled MGM and set up distribution through MGM. Despite purchasing the studio, Pathe didn’t have enough capital to release the slate of films and pay for P&A and Credit Lyonnais Bank took over the studio, making it the first studio owned by a bank. A cash infusion led to the 1991 slate being released and most of the films were box office bombs, with Thelma And Louise being the only hit. Shattered opened in 1,286 theaters to a poor $3,457,105 — when The Fisher King led the weekend and Shattered even had the indignity of opening behind Ernest Scared Stupid. The film closed its run with just $11,511,031.
TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (2004)
Team America: World Police was financed by Paramount and the German tax shelter fund MMDP GmbH & Co. Project KG for $32m and the R rated puppet movie was tracking very strong going into domestic release, between $18m – $20m. Team America came in far below those expectations with a weak $12,120,358 in 2,539 theaters and the film did not have strong enough legs at the box office to break out. The second weekend decline of 47.3% pulled in $6,388,442 and the film declined 51.7% in its third frame to $3,083,704 and closed its run with a disappointing $32,786,074 leaving Paramount with about $18m after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave some of the P&A costs in the red and the budget at a loss. Overseas, Team America: World Police pulled in a decent $9.3m in the UK through UIP (joint distribution between Paramount and Universal), but flopped in every other market. The film grossed a poor $1.2m in Germany and a miserable $388,063 from France and besides a soft $3.7m from Australia, every other market pulled in less than a million dollars. The overseas total was $18,121,348 which would also not cover the P&A costs.
TOMORROWLAND (2015) — Disney backed the $180m Tomorrowland and spent more than $150m to market the film worldwide and now have an estimated $120m to $140m write-down on the picture. With a vague marketing campaign that tried to keep the premise a secret, it was not clear if Tomorrowland was aimed at children or older audiences and mixed reviews only added to the distancing marketing material. The film was released day and date in most markets and opened in the US with $33,028,165 for the weekend and pulled in $42,679,200 over the memorial day frame. Tomorrowland opened to a soft $26.7m overseas in 65 markets. The film proved to have weak legs and its US attendance dropped 56.7% in its second frame to $14,303,679 ending its chance at breaking out at the boxoffice and it declined 49.7 in its third weekend to $7,200,103. Tomorrowland closed its North American run with $93,436,322. Overseas, the film pulled in a less than blockbuster $115.2 million, bringing the worldwide total to $208.6 million — which would leave the mouse house with about $114 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving part of the P&A costs in the red and the budget as all red ink.