The Disappointments Room
|Budget: $15 million||Financed by: Relativity|
|Domestic Gross: $2,423,468||Domestic Distributor: Relativity|
|Overseas Gross: $2,887,205|
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Produced by: Ryan Kavanaugh
The Disappointments Room was financed by Relativity for a modest $15 million. Foresight Unlimited pre-sold the movie at the 2013 American Film Market to overseas distributors. Relativity first dated the pic for release on September 25, 2015 but delayed the film indefinitely as they entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization. The day before they were to file for bankruptcy, UniFi Completion Guarantors tried to seize the film from Technicolor and hand it over to foreign distributors. Relativity was granted a restraining order and injunction from the bankruptcy court to block foreign distributors from accessing the film, as they argued that it is customary for the US release to come first — and an early overseas release would contribute to piracy and negatively impact theaters from wanting to book the film. RKA Film Financing also tried to seize the film, along with “Masterminds,” “Before I Wake,” and “Kidnap,” as RKA was owed $85 million from Relativity. RKA also sued for fraud, claiming that CEO Ryan Kavanaugh used their funds, which were only for P&A expenses, for daily Relativity operations. CIT Bank was also involved during the bankruptcy, as they were owed $34 million for loaning Relativity cash to help pay for The Disappointments Room and Masterminds.
During their reorganization, Relativity rescheduled The Disappointments Room for March 25, 2016. With that release date approaching, there were no signs of any promotional material and that date would prove impossible because the court’s approved reorganization plan for the mini-studio would not even go into effect until April. During this period, Netflix became tangled in a lawsuit with Relativity, as they wanted to stream The Disappointments Room and Masterminds ahead of any theatrical release, as they were stuck in a contract with the mini-studio forcing them to payout cash for these movies that were rotting on the shelf. The judge ruled in favor of Relativity, saying that the Netflix streaming would impact the theatrical revenue and harm Relativity’s chances with their reorganization. The horror pic was then moved to December 16 and then it moved up to November 18 and then finally would see the light of day on September 9th. All these different entities trying to seize a movie that should probably have been dumped straight to video before the bankruptcy. Ryan Kavanaugh tweeted (and then deleted) that The Disappointments Room would have a VOD release and a token theatrical run, but that was scrapped in favor of a wide release.
The Disappointments Room would be the first movie released by Relativity post-bankruptcy and the mini-studio returned with a whimper. Going into release, awareness of the picture was extremely low and early opening estimates were coming in near $2 million. Despite a very modest P&A spend, Relativity did pump over $4.5 million into national TV ads (as per iSpotTv) and millions more in other traditional means of promotion. The Disappointments Room was booked into 1,554 theaters against Sully, The Wild Life and When the Bough Breaks. It was not screened for critics and predictably flopped with $1,402,823 and a $903 per screen average. It placed far outside the top 10 at #17 for the weekend led by Sully. Audiences slapped the pic with a hateful D cinemascore and it sank 73.1% the following weekend to $377,322 and then promptly lost most of its theater count. The domestic run closed with a mere $2,423,468.
It is unclear at this time if most overseas distributors retained the rights after it was delayed and they were barred from releasing the picture. The reported offshore cume is just $2.8 million from a few markets, with most of that gross coming from United Arab Emirates with $1.9 million.
The atrocious box office performance of The Disappointments Room raised more concerns from both capital investors and creative agencies if Relativity has the means to be a functioning studio. Three weeks later, Relativity released Masterminds after actually financing an expensive marketing spend and it tanked and Relativity went up for sale.