Budget: $163m Financed by: Dreamworks; Universal; Relativity
Domestic Gross: $100,240,551 Domestic Distributor: Universal
Overseas Gross: $74,581,774

cowboys_and_aliens_movie_poster_teaser_hi-res_01Co-financed by DreamWorks, which covered 50% of the costs, Universal covered 25% and Relativity Media also covered 25% for the huge $163m budget.  The long in development project never found a good marketing hook for the genre mashup, even with high levels of audience awareness and after an expensive marketing spend Universal released the film in the US to less than blockbuster numbers.  Dreamworks and Universal split the marketing costs and partnered with Nestle, 7-Eleven, Comcast, Sprint, Hilton and more to sell the film.  It opened with $36,431,290 which was a decent opening weekend, but the film proved to have weak legs and dropped 56.8% in its second frame to $15,729,455 killing its chances at breaking out.  It did manage to hit $100,240,551 but a weak overseas total of $74.5m left the financiers with huge losses.  With a $174m worldwide total, Universal released the film in most territories and the companies would see back about $95m after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover the huge worldwide ad spend.  Universal president Ron Meyer was quoted as saying, “Cowboys & Aliens was a big loss.” “Certainly you couldn’t have more talented people involved in Cowboys and Aliens, but it took, you know, ten smart and talented people to come up with a mediocre movie. It just happens.”

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