The Core

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  • Directed By: Jon Amiel
  • Written By: Cooper Layne, John Rogers
  • Release Date: March 28, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: Paramount
  • Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci

Box Office Info:
Budget: $74 millionFinanced by: Paramount; Munich Film Partners New Century
Domestic Box Office: $31,186,896Overseas Box Office: $42,311,715


The Core had been announced as a Paramount project in 1997 and in October 1999 the studio tapped Peter Hyams to direct.  On September 20, 2001 Paramount reported that they hired Jon Amiel to replace Hyams and the shoot was set to begin on December 10.  This cornball disaster porn movie was financed by Paramount for $74 million and the studio received some German coin from the tax shelter Munich Film Partners.

Paramount originally planned on a November 1, 2002 release, but delayed The Core until March 28, 2003 to finish the vfx and add more CGI destruction.  Paramount then had to pull the theatrical trailer and recut it after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, since the shuttle was shown in peril.  A week before its release, the Iraq invasion began in full scale and grim 24-hour news cycles were the national attention and attendance dipped at the box office.  Though even in a world not beset by war, it’s unlikely the The Core would have ever become a hit.

The Core landed mixed reviews that leaned negative and it bowed against Head Of State and Basic.  It came in below expectations with $12,053,131 — placing #3 for the slow weekend led by Head Of State.  The Core declined 48.7% in its second weekend to $6,181,635 and quickly disappeared with $31,186,896.

Paramount did not find much success for The Core overseas, where it cumed $42,311,715 and $12.5 million of that number was from Japan through distributor Gaga.  The worldwide total was a less than blockbuster $73.4M.  Paramount would see returned about $40.3M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving part of the worldwide P&A costs in the red and the expensive budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

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