EVAN ALMIGHTY

Budget: $175m (estimated) Financed by: Universal; Relativity
Domestic Gross: $100,462,298 Domestic Distributor: Universal
Overseas Gross: $72,956,483

evan_almightyOriginally to be financed between Sony and Universal, Sony pulled out when Evan Almighty was to be budgeted at $140m and Relativity Media agreed to finance half of the budget.  Relativity recently set up a second hedge fund for investors to finance films through Sony and Universal called Gun Hill Road II, which had $700m in equity and Evan Almighty was the first to dip into those funds.  It has been reported that Relativity capped their investment at the initial budget when the film was going massively over budget and Universal had to foot the expense.  The reported budget by Universal was $175m, though most speculation has the budget north of $200m, turning the film into the most expensive comedy ever made.  Universal also spent an estimated $50m on domestic marketing for the oversized film and Universal’s parent company General Electric contributed an additional $25m in marketing support for a green initiative.  GE set up a Get on Board eco-awareness campaign to show audiences ways to slow down global warming and at the same time letting people know Evan Almighty is opening soon in theaters — and also promoting how responsible the filmmakers were by recycling materials and bike riding on set instead of driving cars.  Not included in the GE green initiative was that they are one of the largest corporate producers of air pollution in the United States, releasing millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air every year.  Universal was also targeting religious groups and churches throughout their ad spend, but with well over $250m between the budget and the worldwide ad spend, the film would have to pull in over $500m just to break even.  The film opened in the US in 3,604 theaters and pulled in $31,192,615, but any sign of the film reaching profit was killed off when it fell 51.5% in its second weekend to $15,143,945.  Evan Almighty had enough legs to push the film’s domestic total to $100,462,298 which would only cover the ad spend in the US, after theaters take their percentage of the gross. The overseas gross was a disastrous $72.9m.  The UK posted a decent enough $12.1m, Spain pulled in $6.1m, Australia $6.7m and Italy $5.8m, but most other markets saw mediocre to poor numbers.  After the film bled red ink, Universal canceled the Japan release and it was dumped straight to video.  The worldwide total was $173.4m, leaving Universal and Relativity with $95.3m after theaters take their cut.