Fear Dot Com
|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: ApolloMedia; Franchise Pictures; The Carousel Picture Company; Luxembourg National Film Fund|
|Domestic Gross: $13,258,249||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $5,643,766|
Directed by: William Malone
Produced by: Elie Samaha
German based ApolloMedia financed Fear Dot Com for $40 million with Franchise Pictures, Luxembourg based The Carousel Picture Company and 12% of the budget was from the Luxembourg National Film Fund. ApolloMedia and Carousel also partnered on the terrible duds Extreme Ops, The Musketeer and George And The Dragon. MDP handled worldwide sales to distributors and Sony’s Columbia Pictures acquired worldwide rights. As per Franchise’s domestic distribution pact with Warner Bros, WB handled the US release. Fear Dot Com was one of many examples of the schlock Franchise was handing over to Warner Bros to distribute, who would soon pressure Franchise CEO Elie Samaha to apply some sort of quality control with their projects.
Warner Bros unloaded this stinker over the slow Labor Day frame and Fear Dot Com received atrocious reviews. It was booked into 2,550 theaters and it pulled in $5,710,128 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Signs in its fifth week. After the opening numbers, Warner Bros distribution head Dan Fellman said the pic cost $10 million and “It should wind up turning a nice profit for Franchise.” Nonsense. Dan Fellman said the exact very same thing the following weekend, when the $39 million Franchise pic City By The Sea bombed and WB also said it cost $10 million. Audiences gave Fear Dot Com a rare F cinemascore and it collapsed quickly at the box office, falling 58.8% the following weekend to $2,352,359 and 58.2% in its third frame to $982,450. Fear Dot Com closed its US run with $13,258,249. Warner Bros would see back about $7.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far less than their P&A expenses. Four weeks after Fear Dot Com opened and City By The Sea flopped, WB wasted more distribution resources and money on the Franchise fiasco Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.
Sony didn’t do much in the way of pushing a release overseas, dumping the film in most markets — including Germany, where it grossed just $294,346. The overseas total was $5,643,766.