Vatel

Budget: $37 millionFinanced by: Gaumont; Canal+, TF1
Domestic Gross: $51,080Domestic Distributor: Miramax
Overseas Gross: N/A
Directed by: Roland Joffé
Starring:
Uma Thurman
Gérard Depardieu
Produced by: Alain Goldman

vatel box office The budget for Vatel was $37 million and this expensive costume drama was majority financed by France based Gaumont.  Additional coin came from Canal+ and TF1.  Gaumont took the high profile project to Cannes in 1999 for advanced sales to distributors and Vatel sold well.  There was interest from US distributors, but Gaumont held off on inking a deal because they wanted a strong release commitment and for support for the film.  Vatel was chosen to open the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and the big-budget period piece was met with a muted response from critics and audiences.  Despite the weak screenings, Miramax cut a decent sized check for the picture, though the amount has been unreported.

When Harvey Weinstein bagged the US rights, he said Vatel is “an example of the finest in filmmaking,” and that he acquired the movie because he simply wanted the American public to see it.  Miramax did not do much in the way of giving the American public a chance to see it and opened it with no hype in two theaters on December 25, where it pulled in $16,032.  Vatel never expanded beyond two theaters and was out of release with only $51,080.  Weinstein did spend some additional money to get the film exposure on the award circuit, where it landed an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction.

The overseas gross is unavailable for the film, but it tanked worldwide.  Gaumont announced that they would lose $16.4 million on Vatel.

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