Hearts In Atlantis
|Budget: $31 million||Financed by: Castle Rock; Village Roadshow|
|Domestic Gross: $24,185,781||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $6,733,634||
Directed by: Scott Hicks
Produced by: Kerry Heysen
Hearts In Atlantis was co-financed by the Warner Bros owned Castle Rock and also Village Roadshow for $31 million. Warner Bros handled distribution duties. The awards hopeful movie was dated for release on September 28 and WB planned on holding sneak previews at 500 locations on September 14 to help spread word of mouth. The studio pushed the previews back one week after the September 11th attacks. Attendance was strong at the previews and the audience response was so positive that Warner Bros increased the theater count from their planed 1,200 theater release to 1,751 with further expansions planned in the upcoming weeks.
Hearts In Atlantis opened against Don’t Say A Word and Zoolander (also co-financed by Village Roadshow) and it was the first weekend where movie attendance returned to normal numbers following the terrorist attacks. Even with mixed reviews, Hearts In Atlantis had a solid start with $9,021,494 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Don’t Say A Word and Zoolander. Since the film skewed toward an older audience, it was expected to have strong legs and WB added 259 locations the following weekend, bringing the theater count up to 2,010. The pic did not have the legs it needed to break out and declined 44.3% to $5,024,920 and 46% to $2,711,469 in its third frame. Hearts In Atlantis closed its run with a disappointing $24,185,781. WB would see returned about $13.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, falling far short of their P&A expenses.
The studio did not do much with Hearts In Atlantis overseas and give it a small rollout, where it cumed $6.7 million. Castle Rock had only two movies in 2001, Hearts In Atlantis and the huge box office bomb The Majestic. In 2002, Warner Bros closed Castle Rock’s physical production departments and the company would no longer have any of its own public relations and 16 of Castle Rock’s 46 employees were fired and the rest absorbed into Warner Bros. Factoring into Castle Rock’s reduced operations, were the box office losers Proof Of Life, Murder By Numbers, Hearts In Atlantis, The Majestic and also at this time Warner Bros was prepared to finally release Castle Rock’s long delayed and expensive disaster The Adventures Of Pluto Nash.