WINDTALKERS

Budget: $115 million Financed by: MGM
Domestic Gross: $40,914,068 Domestic Distributor: MGM
Overseas Gross: $36,714,197 Director: John Woo

windtalkers box officeMGM financed Windtalkers for $115 million and pre-sold the film to overseas distributors, reducing their exposure to the budget to around $80 million, plus the expense of marketing in the US.  MGM originally slated Windtalkers for release in fall 2001, but claim they delayed the pic until June 14, 2002 because of marketing concerns after the September 11th attacks — but it was speculated that the real reason was that accounting rules recently changed where studios had to include marketing expenses upfront, which would have added gallons of red ink to an already red 2001 for MGM.  Regardless of the actual reason for the delay, an additional $2 million in interest accrued from the release change.  MGM opened the film against The Bourne Identity and Scooby-Doo and it placed #3 with a very disappointing $14,520,412.  Showing terrible legs at the box office, Windtalkers collapsed 54.9% in its second frame to $6,551,131 when Minority Report entered the market and won the weekend and the pic closed its run with $40,914,068.  MGM would see back about $22.4 million, covering much of the P&A spend, but nothing else and they took an estimated $50 million write down on this flop and it was the third high profile disaster for MGM in 2002 after Rollerball and Hart’s War.  Windtalkers played out as poorly overseas at it did in the US, with major markets France, Germany and the UK posting just over $1 million and Japan was the highest grossing territory with $8.3 million.  The overseas cume was just $36.7 million.