Driven

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  • Directed By: Renny Harlin
  • Written By: Sylvester Stallone
  • Release Date: April 27, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue

Box Office Info:
Budget: N/AFinanced by: Franchise Pictures; Intertainment
Domestic Gross: $32,720,065Overseas Gross: $22,024,673

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Driven was financed by the infamous Franchise Pictures and the German based Intertainment.  Intertainment sued Franchise in December 2000 for fraudulently inflating the budgets for their movies, so that Intertainment ended 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.  With the fake overages, Franchise reported the budget of Driven to Intertainment as $72 million, but the actual price of the film has not been listed in the released court documents — though it would be far less than $72 million.  Intertainment successfully sued Franchise and Samaha for $77 million and wiped out the scummy company in 2004.

As per Warner Bros pact with Franchise, the studio distributed Driven in the US.  Sylvester Stallone was fresh off the box office disaster Get Carter (also financed by Franchise) just six months prior and WB decided to market the picture by barely even showing a fleeting glimpse of him in the trailer.  For a major studio release, the trailer for Driven was an unprofessional looking hack job that looked like a direct to video D-grade movie — though the actual picture was not much of a step up in quality.

WB dated the pic for April 27, where it would open against the very troubled and delayed Town & Country, the cheap horror pic The Forsaken and One Night At McCool’s.  Reviews were awful and despite muted buzz and atrocious marketing material, Driven opened #1 over the slow weekend with $12,174,504.  It declined 50.7% the following weekend to $6,002,516 and 49.2% in its third frame to $3,047,384.  Driven closed its domestic run with $32,720,065.  WB would see returned about $17.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover P&A expenses.  Franchise released a slew of flops in 2001, beginning with The Pledge, 3000 Miles to Graceland, then Driven, Angel Eyes and Heist.

Driven was also a non-performer overseas, stalling with a $22 million cume.  Sylvester Stallone’s career was completely in the gutter after Driven, with his barely released and long delayed Eye See You landing a brief theatrical run in 2002 and another Franchise funded pic Avenging Angelo was dumped straight to video in 2003.

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