Title: TheTax Collector
Directed By: David Ayer
Written By: David Ayer
Release Date: August 07, 2020
Domestic Distributor: RLJE Films
Cast: Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, Shia LaBeouf
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Box Office Information
Budget: $30 Million
Financed by: Cedar Park Entertainment
Domestic Box Office Gross: $1,044,212
Overseas Box Office Gross: $265,759
In The Tax Collector (2020), David and Creeper (played by Shia LaBeouf) are ‘Tax Collectors’ in the seedy underworld of the L.A. gang scene.
With a well-drilled routine, they collect their cut from the profits of local gangs’ illicit ventures.
When an old rival returns to L.A. from Mexico to reclaim his turf, the business is upended and David finds himself in a desperate struggle to protect those closest to him: his family.
Production for The Tax Collector began on June 21, 2018, when it was announced that Shia LaBeouf and David Ayer would team up for the project. Notably, for his part in the film, Shia LaBeouf had his entire chest tattooed!
RLJE Films acquired distribution rights to the film in May 2020 and it had a limited distribution in theatres shortly thereafter on August 7, 2020. The film was released simultaneously to video-on-demand (VOD).
On account of the ongoing pandemic, The Tax Collector premiered at the Vineland Drive-In theatre in City of Industry, California on July 30, 2020.
The Tax Collector Box Office Numbers
With a production budget of some $30 million and a domestic box office 0.0 times the production budget, The Tax Collector took $1,044,212 domestically and grossed $265,759 overseas at the box office.
The Tax Collector played to 129 theatres and took $309,694 (29.7% of total gross) in its opening weekend.
The film played to a total of 138 theatres domestically and took a domestic share of some 79.7%.
Having ranked first in its opening weekend, The Tax Collector dropped to third in its second weekend – running for a total of 11 weeks, with an average weekend domestic gross of $94,928 based on a 4.0 weeks average run per theatre.
The Tax Collector was released to a total of 2 countries internationally, with the main markets being Russia (CIS), with a lifetime gross of $138,413, and South Korea, with a lifetime gross of $127,346.
It’s a Wrap
It is not often that you see $300K opening weekend topping the box office – but in these crazy times, The Tax Collector did just that. Yeah, but it’s August you say – dumping time for middle-of-the-road movies. But, seriously, $309,694?
Of course, context is everything, and since the coronavirus shut down theatres in mid-March 2020 – it played out at barely 130 venues.
So it is the same tired story of the coronavirus shuttering theatres and films going straight to SVOD.
Opening weekend the film topped the on-demand charts and was the most rented movie on a host of streamers, including FandangoNow, iTunes, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.
With estimates of $1–2 million from VOD sales and a further $2,443,192 from DVD & Blu-ray Sales – that’s still a meager $5–6 million for a 30 million production budget. All in, it is woefully short of anything close to breaking even and represents a big loss for Cedar.
RLJE Films struggled with the distribution owing to the limitations put in place to deal with the pandemic, with their Chief Acquisitions Officer, Mark ward, trying to put a positive spin on it:
The drive-in and PVOD model have given audiences new and nostalgic experiences, and we’re seeing the demand as we innovate and pivot to the need of consumers. What we’re most proud of is ‘The Tax Collector’ with its ethnically diverse cast, helmed by the legendary David Ayer, is topping the charts in both box office and PVOD. Audiences crave diversity in film, and we are opening opportunities for such representation to be seen.
Unfortunately, audiences also crave quality content and it seems The Tax Collector just wasn’t up to task – with generally unfavorable reviews and question marks over the casting of LaBeouf as a Latino character.
The simultaneous SVOD release did little to bail out a movie that ended up both poorly received and marred in controversy. Accepting it played out in a difficult year, it was a sure loss for Cedar.