City By The Sea
|Budget: $39 million||Financed by: Franchise Pictures; Epsilon|
|Domestic Gross: $22,448,879||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $6,965,087|
Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones
Robert De Niro
Produced by: Elie Samaha
City By The Sea was financed by Franchise Pictures and Epsilon for what was originally reported by Franchise as a $59 million production. After investigations turned up fraud by Franchise, who would inflate their budgets so that their financing partners end up shouldering most of the costs, City By The Sea’s actual budget was revealed as $39 million. Intertainment was originally going to cover nearly half of the budget, but refused to hand over any capital after Franchise ripped them off for years and Intertainment began litigation against the company. Intertainment was given expense reports by Franchise claiming the actors cost $18.5 million, but documents showed the amount to be $13.7 million. Sets were listed as $1.2 million in Franchise’s budget, but the actual costs turned out to be $864,018. And so on. Warner Bros had US distribution as per their output deal with Franchise and the pic opened to a very modest $8,935,426 — placing #3 for the slow weekend led by SwimFan. Warner Bros distribution head Dan Fellman was quoted by Variety saying the film cost $10 million: “I’m happy for (Franchise chief) Elie (Samaha). The film ultimately will make a profit.” Uh huh. Dan Fellman also said the very same thing just one week earlier, when the $40 million Franchise flop Fear Dot Com tanked. City By The Sea was supposed to start off the fall as more serious fare for adult audiences, but it received weak reviews and disappeared from theaters with $22,448,879. Warner Bros would see back about $12.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their P&A costs. City By The Sea was dumped by most overseas distributors, where it pulled in just $6,965,087 across numerous distributors and went straight to video in Germany where Franchise gets most of their capital and ripped off their German partners. Robert De Niro had a terrible 2002 at the box office, beginning with Showtime in March, City By The Sea in September and Analyze That in December.