|Budget: $80 million||Financed by: Paramount; Mutual Film Group; Cobalt Media|
|Domestic Gross: $19,481,943||Domestic Distributor: Paramount|
|Overseas Gross: $24,453,820|
Directed by: Richard Donner
Produced by: Lauren Schuler Donner
In 1999, author Michael Crichton sold the Timeline book rights to Paramount for no money, but with a backend deal that pays 15% of the first-dollar gross to Crichton, his representative Artists Management Group and director Richard Donner, until they receive a $3 million producing fee. If Paramount did not make the picture, there would be a $1 million termination fee. Mutual Film Group and Cobalt Media Group co-financed Timeline with Paramount and the studio would distribute in the US. Overseas distribution was setup through Mutual’s distribution partners, Cobalt and some territories through Paramount via UIP (joint distribution between Paramount and Universal). During pre-sales at Cannes, Mutual and Cobalt were selling the project as a $100+ million blockbuster, but at the time of release the budget was reported at $80 million, likely after tax breaks. After Donner delivered his cut, Paramount head Sherry lansing demanded numerous edits to the picture, delaying the release. After bouncing around the calendar, Timeline eventually opened over the crowded Thanksgiving holiday frame in 2,787 theaters and received terrible reviews. Pre-release awareness was high among auds — but despite being aware of the movie, tracking suggested it was not moviegoers first choice to see in theaters. The expensive film was tracking for a mid-teens weekend, but cumed a poor $8,440,629 — placing #8 for the frame led by the holdover The Cat In The Hat. The western flop The Missing also bowed that weekend. Audiences weren’t too thrilled about the film either and gave it a C+ cinemascore and Timeline sank a huge 67.7% in its second weekend to $2,729,568 and followed that with a 68.1% decline to $869,644. Timeline quickly left theaters with $19,481,943. Paramount would see back about $10.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave much of the P&A costs in the red. Timeline pulled in mostly awful numbers overseas, with most markets grossing less than $1 million. Timeline played moderately well in Japan with $8.8 million, which comprised the highest tally from its $24,453,820 overseas total.