Life As A House
|Budget: $17 million||Financed by: New Line; Hannover Leasing|
|Domestic Gross: $15,667,270||Domestic Distributor: New Line|
|Overseas Gross: $8,236,521||
Directed by: Irwin Winkler
Produced by: Michael De Luca
Life As A House was first being developed at Sony’s Columbia Pictures, but the studio put the project into turnaround and then Lakeshore briefly flirted with funding the movie, but that also fell apart. New Line finally boarded the drama and financed the pic for $17 million and partnered with Hannover Leasing to tap into the German tax shelter fund market to get capital for the film. Three New Line films would receive coin from the deal struck with Hannover — Life As A House, I Am Sam and A Man Apart. New Line also limited their exposure to the budget by selling off overseas distribution and many of the distributors that had output deals with New Line, saw Life As A House partially dent their massive earnings from the studio’s monster hit The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.
Life As A House was to be a serious Oscar contender for New Line and they dated the pic for a two week limited run on October 26, with a wide bow set for November 9. Critics gave the movie mixed to poor reviews and while Hayden Christensen received a SAG nomination and a few critic association nominations, it was shut out from landing any major kudos that could of helped its limited commercial appeal. Life As A House opened in 29 theaters and pulled in $294,056 with a $10,139 per screen average. In frame three it expanded to 1,288 locations and was up against new openers Heist and Shallow Hal and pulled in a very weak $3,818,623 — placing #8 for the weekend led by holdover Monsters, Inc. After the poor wide bow, New Line decided not to expand it further and its final domestic cume was only $15,667,270. The studio would see returned about $8.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, less than their P&A expenses and exposure to the budget.
Despite being partially funded with German money, it was dumped there by New Line’s parent company Warner Bros and grossed just $297,525. The overseas total was $8.2 million across many distributors.