|Budget: $30 million||Financed by: Media Rights Capital; Radar Pictures|
|Domestic Gross: $15,051,977||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $18,281,554|
Directed by: Richard Kelly
Produced by: Dan Lin
The Box was financed mostly by Media Rights Capital and also Radar Pictures for upwards of $30 million and Warner Bros signed on as US distributor, from a three picture deal with MRC. Pre-sales limited Media Rights Capital and Radar’s investment risk. Coming off the commercial and critical drubbing of Southland Tales, director Richard Kelly set out to make a more commercial project that would receive wide distribution and have an easy marketing hook. The Box proved the opposite, earning a rare F cinemascore from audiences in the US and judging from that audience response, test screenings must have shaken WB’s confidence, as they shifted The Box all over the release calendar. Warner Bros originally scheduled The Box for a March 2009 release and then pushed it back to a Sept 11, 2009 release date, but then moved it back to March 2009 before delaying it to October 30 and then pushing it back another week to November 6. The film opened in 2,635 theaters and was dead on arrival with $7,571,417 — placing #6 when new opener A Christmas Carol led the weekend, holdover Michael Jackson’s This Is It placed #2, new opener The Men Who Stare At Goats took #3 and also competing for similar auds with The Box was The Fourth Kind at #4. The pic took a large 58.3% decline in its second frame to $3,158,368 and The Box fell a steep 84.3% to $494,345 in its third frame. Its US cume was $15,051,977 which would leave WB with about $8.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving well over half of their P&A costs in the red. Domestic video sales were small with about $6.3 million (less after resellers take their cut and manufacturing costs). Overseas The Box pulled in weak numbers in every territory grossing $18.2 million across numerous distributors and going straight to video in Germany.