Get Carter

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  • Directed By: Stephen Kay
  • Written By: David McKenna
  • Release Date: October 6, 2000
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Rachael Leigh Cook

Box Office Info:
Budget: $44.7 millionFinanced by: Franchise Pictures; Intertainment
Domestic Box Office: $14,967,182Overseas Box Office: $4,445,811

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Get Carter was financed by Franchise Pictures and the German based Intertainment.  Intertainment sued Franchise in December 2000 for fraudulently inflating the budgets for their movies, so that Intertainment ends up shouldering more than the 47% of the production costs they contractually agreed to cover for a huge slate of Franchise pics.  Franchise head Elie Samaha would make phony deferments called “approved overages” that were made up charges — for example, on Get Carter, he approved over $19 million in overages, including a fake document that listed $8 million for “S. Stallone (perks).”  Samaha also claimed producer Mark Canton was “a very expensive guy” with a $6 million producer fee, but was actually paid $1.5 million.  There was also $3 million in additional producer fees that wasn’t paid out to anyone.  With the fake overages, Franchise reported the cost to Intertainment as $63.3 million, but the actual budget of Get Carter was finally revealed to be $44.7 million.  Intertainment CEO Barry Baeres, first caught wind of this scheme after viewing a screening for Get Carter and could not believe how cheap the movie looked — further investigation revealed the scam Franchise was pulling.

Intertainment successfully sued Franchise and Samaha for $77 million and wiped out the scummy company in 2004.  Before that judgement was handed down to Franchise, Morgan Creek also sued the company, as they had acquired domestic distribution rights in 1998 for eight Franchise films — “The Whole Nine Yards (Franchise’s only hit movie),” “Battlefield Earth,” “Art of War,” Get Carter,” “The Pledge,” “3000 Miles to Graceland,” Angel Eyes” and “Heist.”  Along with a distribution fee, Morgan Creek would receive 15% of the film’s profits and they would have a right of first refusal on distributing the movies.  Franchise never paid out any money for “The Whole Nine Yards” and they never offered Morgan Creek any other additional films to accept or pass on.

Warner Bros distributed Get Carter in the US (and a few overseas markets), as per their output agreement with Franchise.  WB dated the picture for October 6, 2000 and Sylvester Stallone had been absent from the big screen since Cop Land (1997) and his career was running on fumes after mid-90’s disappointments like Judge Dredd, Daylight and Assassins.  Stallone’s previous feature Eye See You (aka. D-Tox) was so awful, it was rotting on the shelf by the time Get Carter was set for release and that movie was not released until 2002.

Get Carter bowed against Meet The Parents and Digimon: The Movie.  Knowing they have a total stinker on their hands, WB did not screen Get Carter for critics and it bombed with $6,637,830 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Meet The Parents.  Audiences hated the movie and gave it a rare D+ cinemascore and it tumbled 56.1% to $2,916,232 in its second weekend.  It then sank 61.9% in its third session to $1,110,244 and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with a terrible $14,967,182.

After Get Carter flopped in the US, the picture was dumped in most offshore markets and cumed just $4.4 million during its international run.  It was sent straight to video in the UK in 2002.

A few months after Get Carter wrapped principal photography, Stallone went into production on two Franchise movies — Driven and then a few weeks later Avenging Angelo.  Driven was marketed by removing Stallone from most of the promotional campaign and Avenging Angelo had its theatrical release canceled and premiered on video.

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