|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: CBS Films; Lionsgate|
|Domestic Gross: $31,886,361||Domestic Distributor: CBS Films/Lionsgate|
|Overseas Gross: Still in release|
Directed by: Peter Berg
Produced by: Scott Stuber
Patriots Day was co-financed by CBS Films and Lionsgate for $40 million after a 25% tax credit and both companies split domestic distribution duties. There was a competing Boston Marathon bombing project in development at FOX called Boston Strong, but Patriots Day made it into production first and that other pic has not moved forward. And in a real head scratching move, Lionsgate also co-financed another Boston Marathon bombing project called Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal and both movies were in production at the same time in April 2016. This project began when CBS Films purchased the life rights of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and partnered with their corporate sibling 60 Minutes for research and development on the attack. An awards qualifying run was set for December 21 and a nationwide expansion dated for January 13. Patriots Day would also mark the third collaboration between director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg, who also had the expensive ripped from the headlines movie Deepwater Horizon released not even three months earlier.
One month before its limited run, Patriots Day premiered at the AFI Festival and received decent notices from critics. Going into its end of the year limited release, awards buzz was non-existent, but Patriots Day managed to pull in respectable numbers. It was booked into 7 theaters and grossed $161,306 with a $23,044 per screen average. It remained in 7 locations for three weeks and cumed $924,082 before expanding into 3,120 theaters. Patriots Day went wide over the very crowded Martin Luther King frame and bowed against The Bye Bye Man, Monster Trucks, Sleepless (also co-starring Michelle Monaghan) and the wide expansion of Live By Night and the semi-wide expansion of Silence.
The film was heavily marketed, with $27.71 million in TV ads (as per iSpotTV) and that number was announced 4 days before its opening, plus millions more on other traditional means of marketing and distribution expenses — with a P&A spend about the price of the picture’s budget. Tracking was pointing to a 4-day holiday frame between $18 – $20 million, but it disappointed with $13,753,384 — and $11,613,765 for the 3-day weekend. Topical films like this are a tough sell and many have a built in resistance factor from audiences — who might have not wanted to re-experience real life horror that was still fresh in their minds. Even with an as good as it gets A+ cinemascore from audiences, stellar word of mouth did not help Patriots Day and it declined 50.5% to $5,753,016 the following weekend. In its third session, the pic fell 51.8% to $2,774,772 and the domestic run closed with $31,886,361. Troubling numbers for a picture with a premise that is designed strictly for the US market. Lionsgate would see returned about $17.4 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.
Patriots Day has so far pulled in $9.5 million in its international run. Markets rollout through April. More as the overseas numbers come in…