The Weight Of Water

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  • Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Written By: Alice Arlen, Christopher Kyle
  • Release Date: November 1, 2002
  • Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
  • Cast: Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, Sarah Polley, Josh Lucas

Box Office Info:
Budget: $20 million (estimated) Financed by: StudioCanal
Domestic Gross: $109,130 Overseas Gross: $212,149

The Weight Of Water was originally developed at Phoenix Pictures with a larger budget, but it was put into turnaround and StudioCanal came onboard to fully finance the picture with a reduced budget that was reported between $18-$20 million.  Director Kathryn Bigelow helmed The Weight Of Water after financing stalled on the big budget K-19: The Widowmaker, which she returned to after finishing this film.  The Weight Of Water was her first production since her 1995 box office disaster Strange Days.

The Weight Of Water wrapped filming in 1999 and premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival.  There was heat around the project, but its commercial prospects cooled after it landed mixed to poor reviews.  StudioCanal had the asking price for a domestic release set at $6 million, which was deemed far too high for a poorly reviewed arthouse film.  Lionsgate picked up domestic rights at the festival for an unreported sum and then sat on the release until 2002.

The mini-major claimed the delay was because Bigelow was unavailable to be apart of the promotion until she completed her K-19 duties, but the movie was dumped anyway.  Lionsgate booked The Weight Of Water into 27 theaters and it pulled in a terrible $45,888 with a $1,699 per screen average that would kill off an expansion.  The following weekend the film reduced its theater count to 14 and sank 71.9% to $12,913 and was out of release by the end of its third week with only $109,130.

Bac Majestic, which was 80% owned by StudioCanal took on UK distribution and dumped the movie straight to video.  It bypassed theaters in most markets, with only France and Taiwan reporting numbers with a total of $212,149.  Bigelow also had K-19: The Widowmaker crash and burn at the box office just a few months earlier.

For those of you that are literally looking for the weight of water and instead found this article on an obscure art film, we’ll help you out — the density of water is 1 kilogram per liter (kg/L) at 39.2°

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