The Young Messiah
|Budget: $18.6 million||Financed by: Ocean Blue Entertainment|
|Domestic Gross: $6,469,813||Domestic Distributor: Focus|
|Overseas Gross: $843,884||
Directed by: Cyrus Nowrasteh
Produced by: Chris Columbus
The Young Messiah was first developed as a $40 million production, with majority financing by Rise Entertainment, but it stalled and the project’s owner Ocean Blue Entertainment began to slash away at the budget. Ocean Blue was then going to co-finance with Echo Lake Entertainment and Ingenious Media, but Ocean Blue ended up as the sole financier. The Young Messiah had its budget reduced to $18.6 million and Hyde Park handled international pre-sales to distributors. FilmDistrict was first attached to the project as domestic distributor, but they shuttered in late 2013 and were absolved into the Focus fold, which then took on distribution duties. The Young Messiah was originally dated for March 23, 2016, the Wednesday before Easter but it was then shifted to March 11.
Focus gave the picture a mostly grassroots marketing campaign, tapping Christian outreach firms to target church groups. Focus also invested a few million into 1,386 national TV airings (as per iSpotTv), plus the expenses of other traditional means of marketing and distribution logistics. It bowed against 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Perfect Match and The Brothers Grimsby and was tracking for a $7 million opening. The Young Messiah was also entering a market with the faith based Risen in its fourth frame and still pulling in auds and Miracles From Heaven was opening the following weekend and tracking far better. God’s Not Dead 2 was also opening on April 1 and its ongoing grassroots marketing approach was also courting the same audience. The Young Messiah was booked into 1,761 locations, received terrible reviews and came in below its modest expectations with $3,294,876 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Zootopia in its second session. The movie lost 66.9% of its audience the following weekend when Miracles opened and pulled in $1,089,234 and promptly lost half of its theater count. It continued to post huge declines and lasted only six weeks in release with $6,469,813. Focus would see returned about $3.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their modest P&A costs.
The Young Messiah barely saw a theatrical release overseas and cumed a mere $843,884 from a few markets.