2002 Box Office Flops
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $68 million||Financed by: Warner Bros; Castle Rock; Village Roadshow|
|Domestic Gross: $33,715,436||Overseas Gross: $42,000,000|
Stephen King sold the Dreamcatcher rights to Castle Rock in September 2000, before the novel was published. The deal was King’s usual terms, where he is paid $1 upfront for his novel and if the movie is greenlit, he lands a seven-figure payday and gross participation. Dreamcatcher had major talent behind the project — Stephen King’s novel was adapted by William Goldman, the man who wrote All the President’s Men and Lawrence Kasdan who made the Big Chill and co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark — combine their talents to a first act dedicated to scatological humor, then scatological horror and basically all things gas and poo. There’s no rational justification for the mess the filmmakers made and trust me, when you see the bathroom set piece covered in blood and sh-t, it’s a serious mess. Alien ‘sh-t-weasels’ that burrow out of people’s as-holes, somehow justified a $68 million budget courtesy of Warner Bros, Castle Rock and Village Roadshow, which all evenly contributed to the budget.
The sci-fi/horror/buddy film mashup was savaged by critics and dated for March 21, 2003. In addition to horrid reviews, poop based horror was difficult to market and also adding to Dreamcatcher‘s troubles attracting auds was the Iraq invasion — which began the day prior to its release and news coverage of the war kept many people at home. To entice viewers, Warner Bros tacked on an animated Matrix short Flight of the Osiris to the film.
Dreamcatcher opened in 2,945 theaters against View From The Top, Piglet’s Big Movie and Boat Trip and pulled in $15,027,423 — placing #2 for the slow weekend led by Bringing Down The House in its third frame. Audiences gave the pic a poor C+ cinemascore and the film took a 55.8% nosedive the following weekend to $6,638,459. After steep weekly drops, Dreamcatcher closed with $33,715,436.
Village Roadshow distributed in their home country Australia to a poor $1,892,168 and their massive profits from the Matrix franchise were cut in half from the awful numbers Dreamcatcher, The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Analyze That and Eight Legged Freaks pulled in. Warner Bros distributed in almost every territory, where Dreamcatcher pulled in generally poor numbers, totaling $42 million. The worldwide cume was $75.7 million and WB would see returned about $41.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving part of the P&A costs in the red and the budget also in red.
Veteran director Lawrence Kasdan found himself out of work after Dreamcatcher for 9 years and finally directed the low budget Darling Companion outside of the studio system.
Box Office Info:
|Budget: N/A||Financed by: Lionsgate|
|Domestic Gross: $10,223,896||Overseas Gross: $0|
Lionsgate financed this Usher vehicle for an unreported amount and this low key release received a $9 million marketing campaign from the mini-major. In The Mix would also mark the end of theatrically released movies from Ron Underwood, the once promising director of Tremors and City Slickers, who saw his career derailed from the fiasco The Adventures Of Pluto Nash (2002). After that mega flop, he ended up directing a slew of made for TV movies, before landing a payday to helm this horsesh-t.
In The Mix opened in the US over a very crowded Thanksgiving frame against Yours, Mine and Ours, Rent, The Ice Harvest, Just Friends and the wide expansion of Pride and Prejudice. Lionsgate booked the pic in 1,608 theaters and it was dead on arrival with $4,448,491 — placing #9 over the holiday, which was won by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in frame two. In The Mix it sank 58% the following weekend to $1,867,971 and promptly lost most of its theater count. It closed its run after five weeks with only $10,223,896. Lionsgate would see back about $5.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross. CEO Jon Feltheimer publicly blamed In The Mix during an investor conference call for posting a further loss for their fiscal year income. Feltheimer said Lionsgate would take at least a $15 million loss on In The Mix.
The film went straight to video in the few overseas markets where it found distribution. Usher had other starring vehicles in development, including a project called Step in the Name of Love at MGM and nothing ever materialized after In The Mix flopped at the box office.
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $60 million||Financed by: FOX; New Regency; Dune Capital|
|Domestic Gross: $11,803,254||Overseas Gross: $38,846,825|
Meet Dave was first in development at Paramount, which picked up the script (originally titled Starship Dave) from former MST3K staffers Rob Greenberg and Bill Corbett in September 2004. The project was eventually dropped by Paramount and FOX picked it up in February 2006 with Eddie Murphy attached as the lead and Peter Segal on board as director. Segal quickly left the picture to helm Get Smart and Murphy brought in Brian Robbins to direct, who had just directed him in the godawful Norbit (2007).
Fox co-financed Meet Dave with New Regency and Dune Capital for $60 million. FOX changed the the title from Starship Dave to the generic sounding Meet Dave to avoid any comparison with the sci-fi Eddie Murphy fiasco The Adventures Of Pluto Nash. FOX studio Co-Chairman Tom Rothman also had the sci-fi premise purged from the marketing material, believing sci-fi and comedy are a disastrous box office combination. Men In Black anyone?
Meet Dave was tracking very poorly going into release and was expected to open under $10M. The public was largely unaware of what the premise of the movie actually was, since the marketing had no context to explain why there was a tiny Eddie Murphy running around with miniature people in a normal sized Eddie Murphy. Along with months long bad buzz, it went public that Eddie Murphy was a no show at the premiere, claiming he was filming A Thousand Words, yet the same director on both pics Brian Robbins was at the premiere. Also not helping the lack of appeal for the high concept movie was Eddie Murphy on his press tour talking more about wanting to retire from movies than about the pic.
Meet Dave was dated for July 11, 2008 and bowed against Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Journey to the Center of the Earth. The market was also saturated with comedy family fare, made even more competitive with fellow opener Journey to the Center of the Earth. Meet Dave would also have to pry auds away from WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda and even Get Smart (directed by Peter Segal, who was first attached to Meet Dave). Reviews were poor and it had a disastrous opening with $5,251,918 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The opening gross was the third worst opening for a film playing in over 3,000 theaters at the time of release. Meet Dave then sank 68.4% in its second frame to $1,659,424 and then set a record for the most theaters dropped, where it lost 2,523 theaters going into week 3. The domestic run ended with a miserable $11,803,254.
Fox handled the overseas release in most markets and the film pulled in a weak $38.8 million cume. The worldwide gross was $50.6M and FOX would see returned about $27.8M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — far below the P&A expenses and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.
After the failure of Meet Dave, New Regency said they would focus on more highbrow films and be the filmmaker friendly division on the FOX lot, though their output after Meet Dave reflected the usual commercial fare the studio churned out.
Meet Dave began the quick descent of Murphy’s star wattage, when he followed this dud with Imagine That and the long delayed A Thousand Words.