The Truth About Charlie
|Budget: $60 million (estimated)||Financed by: Universal; Mediastream|
|Domestic Gross: $5,350,371||Domestic Distributor: Universal|
|Overseas Gross: $1,742,913|
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Produced by: Peter Saraf
Universal financed Jonathan Demme’s remake of the 1963 film Charade, with German tax shelter fund Mediastream for just under $60 million. The Truth About Charlie was originally developed as a vehicle for Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg took over the role, who was not bankable at the time of release and Paramount did not invest in a strong marketing push. The Truth About Charlie received mixed reviews from critics, but audiences were far more harsh and slapped Charlie with a hateful D cinemascore. Universal clearly knew they had a tough sell on their hands and gave the film a moderately wide opening in 753 theaters, where it pulled in $2,270,290. The terrible opening drew the ire of co-chief executive of Vivendi Barry Diller at Universal executives and marketing personnel. The Truth About Charlie declined 44.6% to $1,257,085 in its second frame and was yanked out of release after only four weeks with $5,350,371. Universal dumped the film overseas and the brief theatrical run it had in major markets pulled in only $1,742,913. Despite being partially financed from Germany money, it was sent straight to video in Germany and most smaller markets. The worldwide total on the expensive film was only $7 million and Universal would see back about $3.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which barely puts a dent in their modest P&A costs and leaves this as one of the biggest failures of 2002. Jonathan Demme followed this remake with another expensive redo of a classic, The Manchurian Candidate.