The Sea Of Trees
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: Waypoint Entertainment|
|Domestic Gross: $20,444||Domestic Distributor: A24|
|Overseas Gross: $811,560|
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Produced by: Ken Kao
The Sea Of Trees was fully financed by Ken Kao’s Waypoint Entertainment for $25 million and Ken Kao and Alex Walton’s newly formed international sales shingle Bloom took the project to the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for pre-sales. The Sea Of Trees was one of the hottest projects at the festival and sold out most of the world to major distributors within six days, which would limit Kao’s exposure to the budget. The film completed production in 2014 and landed a coveted competition slot at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The highly anticipated movie was snatched up a few days before its first screening by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate, who would partner for domestic distribution.
Then The Sea Of Trees screened to a hostel critical audience, that laughed at the picture, booed it and it became the disaster of the festival. The film received the lowest jury score in 12 years, landing a 0.6 out of 4 stars — the worst since two entries in 2003 Les côtelettes (0.3) and the infamous The Brown Bunny (0.5). Any possible award or commercial prospects for the movie were deflated and the many distributors who snatched up the title were left with a turkey.
Roadside and Lionsgate never dated The Sea Of Trees for release after the festival and over a year later, in late June 2016, they sold the film off to A24. A24 gave The Sea Of Trees a token theatrical release at two locations in NY and LA and a simultaneous VOD release. The film pulled in just $1,877 with a dismal $939 per screen average. Despite the lack of interest, A24 expanded the theater count to 101 in its second weekend and it grossed $7,421 with a pathetic $73 per screen average. The Sea Of Trees closed its brief run after three weeks with just $20,444.
The only recorded overseas gross has been $128,822 from France, $643,421 from Italy and $39,317 from the Netherlands.