Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever
|Budget: $70 million (estimated)||Financed by: Franchise Pictures; Academy Film Fund I; Epsilon|
|Domestic Gross: $14,307,963||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $5,616,070|
Directed by: Kaos
Produced by: Elie Samaha
This disaster began as a spec script in the 80s under various titles and somehow the ridiculous title Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever made it to release. Franchise Pictures financed this pic and partnered with German bank CommerzBank, which set up a $133 million tax shelter fund, Academy Film Fund I to pay the reported $70 million budget, along with Epsilon. Since Franchise was under investigation and being sued for fraud for inflating their budgets, so their financing partners end up covering most of the costs, it is doubtful this turkey cost $70 million. Warner Bros distributed in the US, as per their output deal with Franchise, but not before Morgan Creek joined the litigation chorus against Franchise — as per an output deal Morgan and Franchise struck in 1998 which gives Morgan the right of first refusal on eight Franchise pics, one being Ecks vs Sever, but Morgan Creek was never shown any films. They did dodge an expensive bullet by not having the opportunity to distribute this.
Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever received some of the worst reviews of the decade, a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and it opened in 2,705 theaters against The Banger Sisters, The Four Feathers and Trapped. Ballistic pulled in a poor $7,010,474 — placing #4 for the weekend led by the holdover Barbershop. It collapsed 60.9% the following weekend to $2,738,311 and 63.1% in its third frame to $1,009,338 and promptly lost most of its theater count. Ecks vs Sever was out of release with just $14,307,963. Warner Bros would see back about $7.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far below their P&A expenses. Despite being funded with German coin, it went straight to video in Germany, the UK and most smaller markets. The overseas total was only $5,616,070. Director Kaos (seriously), was snatched up by CAA for representation and had set up a followup sci-fi project at Fox, but after this mess was released his studio helming days were instantly over. Franchise Pictures 2002 slate of garbage consisted of Fear Dot Com opening the month prior to Ballistic and then City By The Sea opening three weeks prior.
In 2012, MHF Zweite Academy Film would sue Warner Bros for continuing to collect on revenue from from The Whole Ten Yards, Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever and The In-Laws, after Warner Bros lost the rights to the films after Franchise Pictures collapsed. Warner Bros was to pay $432,578 to settle and continue to collect revenue and report accounting data on the films, only to not pay and not report the data and lead to another suit in 2015 also regarding the lost rights of the rom-com Laws Of Attraction.