Men, Women & Children
|Budget: $16 million||Financed by: Indian Paintbrush; Paramount|
|Domestic Gross: $705,908||Domestic Distributor: Paramount|
|Overseas Gross: $1,534,627|
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Produced by: Michael Beugg
When Oscar bait goes bad. Paramount and Indian Paintbrush financed Men, Women & Children for $16 million and the two companies backed director Jason Reitman’s previous feature Labor Day earlier in 2014. The awards hopeful was set for release on October 3rd in 17 theaters with a wide bow planned two weeks later. The studio premiered Men, Women & Children at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, which killed off its early buzz with terrible reviews. Despite the negative reception, Paramount still strongly backed the picture, holding screenings at 30 college campuses and partnering with the app Whisper to build word of mouth.
The poor reviews put the movie in a commercial dead zone, appealing to neither the art house crowd nor the multiplex crowd and Men, Women & Children pulled in a poor $2,825 per screen average for a $48,024 weekend. Expanding to 601 empty theaters on Oct 17, the film grossed an embarrassing $306,367 with a $504 per screen average for the weekend. That breaks down to an average of $168 per day or about $33 per showing. Men, Women & Children sank 79% the following weekend to $64,313 and was pulled from release at the end of the week with only $705,908. Paramount would see back less than $400k after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far below its modest P&A spend and leaving its budget in the red. Paramount rolled Men, Women & Children out theatrically in a few overseas markets, where it pulled in a mere $1.5 million.