Dreamcatcher

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  • Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Written By: William Goldman, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Release Date: March 21, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis

Box Office Info:
Budget: $68 millionFinanced by: Warner Bros; Castle Rock; Village Roadshow
Domestic Gross: $33,715,436Overseas Gross: $42,000,000

dreamcatcher 2003
Stephen King sold the Dreamcatcher rights to Castle Rock in September 2000, before the novel was published.  The deal was King’s usual terms, where he is paid $1 upfront for his novel and if the movie is greenlit, he lands a seven-figure payday and gross participation.  Dreamcatcher had major talent behind the project — Stephen King’s novel was adapted by William Goldman, the man who wrote All the President’s Men and Lawrence Kasdan who made the Big Chill and co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark — combine their talents to a first act dedicated to scatological humor, then scatological horror and basically all things gas and poo.  There’s no rational justification for the mess the filmmakers made and trust me, when you see the bathroom set piece covered in blood and shit, it’s a serious mess.  Alien ‘shit-weasels’ that burrow out of people’s assholes, somehow justified a $68 million budget courtesy of Warner Bros, Castle Rock and Village Roadshow, which all evenly contributed to the budget.

The sci-fi/horror/buddy film mashup was savaged by critics and dated for March 21, 2003.  In addition to horrid reviews, poop based horror was difficult to market and also adding to Dreamcatcher‘s troubles attracting auds was the Iraq invasion — which began the day prior to its release and news coverage of the war kept many people at home.  To entice viewers, Warner Bros tacked on an animated Matrix short Flight of the Osiris to the film.

Dreamcatcher opened in 2,945 theaters against View From The Top, Piglet’s Big Movie and Boat Trip and pulled in $15,027,423 — placing #2 for the slow weekend led by Bringing Down The House in its third frame.  Audiences gave the pic a poor C+ cinemascore and the film took a 55.8% nosedive the following weekend to $6,638,459.  After steep weekly drops, Dreamcatcher closed with $33,715,436.

Village Roadshow distributed in their home country Australia to a poor $1,892,168 and their massive profits from the Matrix franchise were cut in half from the awful numbers Dreamcatcher, The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Analyze That and Eight Legged Freaks pulled in.  Warner Bros distributed in almost every territory, where Dreamcatcher pulled in generally poor numbers, totaling $42 million.  The worldwide cume was $75.7 million and WB would see returned about $41.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving part of the P&A costs in the red and the budget also in red.

Veteran director Lawrence Kasdan found himself out of work after Dreamcatcher for 9 years and finally directed the low budget Darling Companion outside of the studio system.

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