The Big Year
|Budget: $41 million||Financed by: FOX; Dune Entertainment|
|Domestic Gross: $7,204,138||Domestic Distributor: FOX|
|Overseas Gross: $975,278|
Directed by: David Frankel
Produced by: Ben Stiller
The Big Year was co-financed between Fox and Dune Entertainment for $41 million and FOX claimed they had $28 million on the line after Dune’s investment and also tax rebates. FOX partnered with environmental group The National Audubon Society before the film entered production, to help promote the bird watching comedy. Audubon spent six figures promoting The Big Year to their members and was quoted by Variety saying, “We can reach 4 million to 5 million people (among) our members, our magazine readers and people who come to our (400) chapters and educational centers.” They might have reached their members, but nobody showed up opening weekend when the film grossed just $3,251,884 in 2,150 theaters — placing #9 for the weekend led by Real Steel and remakes Footloose and The Thing. Fox’s marketing on The Big Year made matters worse, when TV ads began to shy away from the film’s concept of bird watching, leaving the pic with no audience hook. The domestic run ended with a disastrous $7,204,138 and FOX released The Big Year in only a few overseas territories to less than $1 million at the box office. After theaters take their portion of the gross, almost the entire ad spend and budget would be in the red for FOX and Dune. Domestic video sales were $6.8 million.