Box Office Information
Budget: $45 Million
Financed by: Sony; Cross Creek Pictures; Bona Film Group
Domestic Box Office Gross: $12,561,824
Overseas Box Office Gross: $20,980,633
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation.
With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too.
Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.
Jeff Wadlow had written a Bloodshot spec script, which landed in the hands of producer Neal H. Moritz, who then took it to Sony.
The studio acquired the Bloodshot comic series from Valiant Comics on March 1, 2012, and then paid Wadlow $450,000 against $1 million for his screenplay.
Bloodshot was looked at by Sony as a potential big-budget franchise and in the hacked emails published by Wikileaks, they listed their preferred directors to launch this series – which started with Michael Bay, who passed.
Edgar Wright was #2, but he was gearing up to direct Baby Driver, then there was Daniel Espinosa, Joe Cornish, Justin Lin, Sam Raimi, Francis Lawrence, and Colin Trevvorow.
John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski then briefly became attached. Bloodshot finally landed Dave Wilson (making his big-screen directing debut), who was the Director & Creative Director of the VFX house Blur Studio – which was co-founded by Deadpool director Tim Miller.
With a director now committed, an offer went out to Jared Leto to star in this would-be franchise – which Sony had now planned to launch into a 5-film shared universe with other Valiant properties.
Nothing materialized with Leto and in January 2018 Vin Diesel signed on as the title character.
Budget and Financing
Bloodshot carried a net budget of $45 million and the majority of the costs were provided by Sony. The studio’s financing partners in the picture were Cross Creek Pictures and China-based Bona Film Group.
The Wikileaks emails noted that Neal H. Moritz and Valiant had 10% gross points between them.
Opening at the Start of a Pandemic
Bloodshot was dated for February 21, 2020, but was moved to March 13 after the big-budget flop The Call of the Wild was shifted to that date.
Bloodshot would now open against another genre movie, the delayed The Hunt, I Still Believe and a society besieged by the coronavirus.
Before movie theater attendance was depressed from the outbreak, Sony did support the release with a solid promotional push to kickstart this franchise, but Bloodshot was tracking poorly for an opening just above $10 million.
Vin Diesel simply does not pull in audiences in the domestic market outside of his existing Fast and Furious franchise. His previous vehicle tried to resuscitate a franchise he had abandoned with xXx: Return of Xander Cage – which tanked stateside but was saved by huge grosses in China.
Diesel’s previous attempt to launch a series was the flop The Last Witch Hunter.
As the release date was approaching, the virus had led to the shuttering of many theaters and every film was obviously impacted negatively. Mixed to poor reviews certainly didn’t help with all of the real-world distractions and stress.
Bloodshot opened just under expectations with $9,176,695 – placing #2 for the weekend led by Onward.
Since Bloodshot was tracking for $10 million before the virus and attendance was so severely depressed during its opening – the picture certainly would have exceeded its tracking in normal circumstances.
Even if it did open a bit higher, these would still be numbers that would kill off a franchise.
Box office recording stopped only a few days into Bloodshot’s release when theaters were largely forced to shutter.
It pulled in $10,021,787. Sony would see returned about $5.5 million after theatres take their percentage of the gross. The studio put the movie online for rent or purchase on March 24.
It’s hard to say where the numbers would have landed overseas, but Diesel’s biggest market potential would have been China, which had already closed theaters.
Bloodshot was in 50 offshore markets and had grossed $18.4 million. Would Sony have gone ahead with a franchise that did mixed to terrible business in almost every country except China? Probably not.
In better times, Bloodshot might have been a break-even type of movie, but not a foundation to build a crossover series.