The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
|Budget: $30 million||Financed by: Warner Bros; Virtual Studios|
|Domestic Gross: $3,909,149||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $11,092,627||
Directed by: Andrew Dominik
Produced by: Ridley Scott
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford was co-financed by Warner Bros and the equity hedge fund Virtual Studios for $30 million and filming completed in 2005 with a fall 2006 release planned, but the film was delayed over a year when Warner Bros and director Andrew Dominik disagreed over the editing of the film. The original cut was more than four hours long and after months of additional trims, it went from three hours to two hours and forty minutes and numerous versions of the film were tested. While Jesse James was in release limbo, Virtual Studios would see their huge investment in WB’s 2006 films Poseidon and The Good German vanish, before WB finally opened Jesse James in the US. The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford opened in 5 theaters to $147,812 and the per screen average was a solid $29,562 but the film showed no growth in limited release dropping 37.5% to $92,351 and struggled while expanding. In its third week of release, Jesse James expanded to 61 theaters to $420,331 and then 163 theaters the following week to $432,273. It never expanded beyond 301 theaters and ended its US run with just $3,909,149. Westerns are a tricky sell to most audiences these days and the film died at the domestic box office and the overseas prospects were stacked against it. WB opened the film in the UK with a solid limited release in 61 theaters, mostly targeting London cinephiles, where they expected the majority of the film’s business. The film pulled in $371,887, with an ok $6,097 per screen average, but Jesse James never expanded beyond the 61 locations and closed with just $1,725,347. France posted the strongest overseas numbers with a mediocre $2.5 million and the overseas total for WB was $11 million, which after theaters take their percentage of the gross, would leave most of the prints and advertising costs as a loss and the budget untouched. Even with Brad Pitt’s star power the film went straight to video in Russia. Recorded domestic home video sales are $9.8 million.