|Budget: $50 million||Financed by: Paramount|
|Domestic Gross: $28,848,693||Domestic Distributor: Paramount|
|Overseas Gross: $27,120,307|
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Produced by: Scott Rudin
Zoolander 2 was financed by Paramount for just north of $50 million and this belated sequel set the record for the most online views of a comedy trailer with 52.2 million views in its first week. Paramount invested in a worldwide marketing blitz and scheduled the pic for release over the competitive Valentine’s Day frame, against Deadpool and How To Be Single. In addition to Paramount’s ad push, Zoolander 2 had numerous promotional tie-ins with Fiat, Cîroc Vodka, a Zoolander skin-care line at Kiehl’s, Samsung and more. Hell, there was even a Blue Steel Selfie app. Awareness was very high for Zoolander 2 and it was tracking for an opening around $25 million, but atrocious reviews and a poor C+ cinemascore from audiences brought this in far below estimates at $13,841,146 in 3,394 theaters. It placed a distant #4 for the weekend, led by Deadpool. The film sank 60.6% in its second frame to $5,455,344 and continued to post huge weekly declines and sputtered out of release with only $28,848,693.
The film did not fare any better overseas, with a weak $27.1 million cume. The UK posted the highest gross with only $5.7 million and Australia posted $5.2 million. The worldwide total has stalled at $55.9 million, returning about $30.7 million to Paramount after theaters take their percentage of the gross.
Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said the box office failure of Zoolander 2 and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot cost the studio $136 million in losses. A week after Zoolander 2 pulled in its disappointing opening numbers, a bitter Viacom board drama erupted between Philippe Dauman and Viacom head Sumner Redstone. Dauman wanted to sell 49% of the studio to China based Wanda and Redstone did not want to give up any ownership of the studio and a very public and messy battle played out, resulting in the departure of Dauman — who received an exit package estimated at $85 million. That is an amazing payout for someone who attempted a corporate coup, by claiming the mental competence of his 93-year-old boss was not of sound mind. The box office failure of Zoolander 2 was not the primary reason behind Dauman wanting to sell off the studio, as Paramount’s value has been estimated between $4 billion to $5.5 billion — far less than Viacom’s $9.9 billion takeover in 1994.