The Best Of Me
|Budget: $27.8 million||Financed by: Relativity|
|Domestic Gross: $26,766,213||Domestic Distributor: Relativity|
|Overseas Gross: $9,160,000|
Directed by: Michael Hoffman
Produced by: Ryan Kavanaugh
Relativity Media backed The Best Of Me for $34.2 million and after $6.4 million in tax rebates, the net budget was $27.8 million. With foreign pre-sales, tax credits and other deals, Relativity had all but $5 million of the budget covered. Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh used The Best of Me as their first model to present product placement and include the brand client into script meetings and involvement in development. Evian water was the product. Ryan Kavanaugh was quoted by Variety saying “Evian is in the room with us, they’re in there when we’re developing our scripts for film and television, and they’re in there with us creating strategy for our other businesses. And that is completely unprecedented.” Kavanaugh also had made his infamous claim of having an algorithm to determine box office success, but the complexities of ‘Nicholas Sparks + plastic bottles of water + poor reviews = money at the box office’ must have caused a software glitch. Relativity managed to limit their risk with the budget, but perhaps more focus on making a better film than trying to sell water, would have saved this from being the lowest grossing Nicholas Sparks adaptation at the time of release.
The Best Of Me was dated for October 17 and bowed against Fury and The Book Of Life. Relativity booked it into 2,936 theaters and it came in below expectations with $10,003,827 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Fury and Gone Girl. The Best Of Me sank 53.7% in its second frame to $4,623,519 and closed with a poor $26,766,213. Relativity would see back about $14.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, less than their P&A spend and exposure to the budget. The president of theatrical marketing at Relativity, Russell Schwartz was forced to resign shortly after this bombed.
The Best of Me pulled in $9,160,000 overseas, across numerous distributors and went straight to video in France and premiered on TV in Italy. It’s unknown how many audience members were inspired to purchase some refreshing Evian. If you think that is a gag poster, just head over to the Relativity website. In 2015 when Relativity began bankruptcy proceedings, The Best Of Me was one of ten films creditors and guilds SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGAW were owed compensation from.