Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: George Litto Pictures; Disney|
|Domestic Box Office: $13,023,075||Overseas Box Office: $82,778|
The Crew was in development in the late ’90s at Disney, but the mouse house put it into turnaround. DreamWorks picked up the project in 1998, which was looking to dip its toes for the first time into lower budget movies with The Crew and what would become the 2000 best picture winner and huge box office success American Beauty — but DreamWorks eventually put The Crew into turnaround.
The project began to move forward again with financing from George Litto Pictures. The budget for The Crew was $25 million and George Litto Pictures covered 65% and a deal was brokered with Disney to contribute the remaining 35% and handle domestic distribution. George Litto formed a partnership with Capella International, called Capella/Litto International to handle overseas sales for what would be their upcoming slate of movies, but The Crew was the first and only picture to materialize — which ended in litigation for George Litto. $14 million in overseas sales were accounted for.
After The Crew flopped at the box office, a messy legal battle began. George Litto planned on producing a minimum of five movies within two years from a $250 million financing arrangement through Chase Manhattan Bank. The French insurance company AXA Reassurance, would cover any loss for Chase. AXA partnered with Underwriters Reinsurance Company (URC) and a few other insurers for the deal. Once The Crew bombed and lost $13,107,880, AXA refused to pay the shortfall and severed their contract with Litto, which prompted Chase to also end their five picture financing arrangement. URC and the other insurers also did not pay. Chase sued AXA for nonpayment and Litto Sued AXA for $50 million in damages. AXA also brought a suit against Chase, but the courts found AXA responsible to Chase. In 2002, when that judgement was handed down, AXA then sued URC seeking rescission of the contract and payment from URC’s portion of underwriting The Crew. URC countersued, but was found responsible for $1,163,508 to AXA. Chase also sued URC and the other insurers who were responsible for covering the loss and the case was settled between the companies. Did you follow all that bullsh-t? AXA pulled out of the film underwriting business and fired the executive who setup the deal. All this costly and lengthy litigation for a worthless movie.
As for the actual release of the movie, Disney dated The Crew for the slow end of summer August 25 frame, where it bowed against Bring It On and The Art Of War. It would also have direct competition with the hit geezer pic Space Cowboys in its 4th weekend. The Crew received terrible reviews and tanked with $4,051,921 — placing #8 for the weekend led by Bring It On. Audiences gave it an awful C+ cinemascore, but it declined just 8.3% over the slow Labor Day frame to $3,714,745. The Crew then sank 69% to $1,156,268 in its third session and the domestic run closed with only $13,023,075. Disney would see returned about $7.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving much of the P&A costs in the red.
The Crew was dumped straight to video in almost every overseas market and the only recorded offshore gross is $82,778.