The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas

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  • Directed By: Brian Levant
  • Written By: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.
  • Release Date: April 28, 2000
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Kristen Johnston

Box Office Info:
Budget: $68 millionFinanced by: Universal
Domestic Gross: $35,268,275Overseas Gross: $24,200,000

the flintstones in viva rock vegas
After The Flintstones (1994) pulled in $341 million at the worldwide box office and $140 million in home video sales, Universal primed the Flintstones property for full exploitation.  The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas was designed as a prequel without the original cast and its very existence was built around a global promotional corporate tie-in program for The Flintstones brand — including 15 full minutes of this corporate shill of a movie that featured scenes at Burger King, under the name “Bronto King.”  The budget for The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas was $68 million and Universal footed the bill.

The effort behind The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas was not put into the actual movie, it was put into Universal Studios Consumer Products Group’s ambitious global marketing blitz.  Universal landed dozens of corporate partners, which invested $50 million into promotional support for Viva Rock Vegas — on top of an already expensive traditional marketing campaign.  Burger King ran television spots and in-store merchandise in over 40 countries throughout a three-month time period.  A small sampling of other partners were Bayer’s Flintstones Vitamins, Kraft branded 10 million boxes of Post Pebbles, NBC, Turner Cartoon Network, Petsmart and Century 21.  Universal also held a search for up-and-coming teen journalists, who had to answer 3-5 trivia questions about The Flintstones for the chance to become a Teen Reporter.  Considering the quality of corporate news these days, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas contest launched a few prominent careers.

Universal first dated The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas for May 5, but pushed it forward a week to April 28 to keep it away from Disney’s Dinosaur which was opening on May 19.  It bowed against Frequency and Where The Heart Is and predictably received a torrent of negative reviews.  Even with the bullish ad push and high audience awareness, Viva Rock Vegas tanked with $10,518,435 — placing #2 for the weekend led by Universal holdover U-571.  The pic declined a modest 36.9% to $6,635,925 the following weekend, but it was too little too late.  The domestic run closed with a poor $35,268,275.

Things were even worse for the prequel in its overseas rollout, where the offshore cume stalled at $24.2 million.  The worldwide total was $59.4 million and Universal would see returned about $32.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover their P&A expenses or any of the budget.

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