The In-Laws

  • the in-laws box office
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    [Total: 7 Average: 2.4]
  • Directed By: Andrew Fleming
  • Written By: Andrew Bergman, Nat Mauldin, Ed Solomon
  • Release Date: May 23, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds

Box Office Info:
Budget: $40 million (estimated) Financed by: Franchise Pictures; MHF Zweite Academy Film
Domestic Gross: $20,453,431 Overseas Gross: $6,438,418

The In-Laws was financed by Franchise Pictures and the German tax shelter fund MHF Zweite Academy Film.  Franchise Pictures was already facing serious legal action at the time of The In-Laws release — the notorious production company run by Elie Samaha would inflate their picture’s budgets, so that their fiscal partners end up shouldering most of the production costs and sometimes 100% of the production costs.  The budget has been reported at $40 million, but with Franchise Pictures, it could be anything.

After Franchise was shuttered from its fraud lawsuit in 2004, MHF Zweite Academy took ownership of The In-Laws and eventually filed a lawsuit in 2012 against domestic distributor Warner Bros.  WB continued to collect revenue on The In-Laws, The Whole Ten Yards and Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever without reporting or paying anything to MHF Zweite.  Warner Bros was to pay $432,578 to settle and continue to collect revenue and report accounting data on the films, only to not pay and not report the data and lead to another suit in 2015 also regarding the lost rights of the rom-com Laws Of Attraction.

Michael Douglas’ production company Further Films produced this remake of the 1979 movie and was given a two year first-look deal at Warner Bros after The In-Laws wrapped production, but after the film flopped WB did not do any business with Further.  Warner Bros dated The In-Laws for May 23, 2003 which was just one month after another Michael Douglas movie opened — the lower budgeted dud It Runs In The Family.  It also bowed against another comedy Bruce Almighty, which would devour The In-Laws.

Reviews were mixed to poor and it was booked into 2,652 theaters and placed 5th for the weekend with a terrible $7,319,848.  The In-Laws declined 48.9% the following weekend to $3,741,063 and quickly faded away with a poor $20,453,431.  Warner Bros would see back about $11.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far less than their P&A expenses.

Italy was the only overseas market that pulled in more than $1 million, with $1.2M and the overseas cume was a mere $6,438,418.

After Michael Douglas strong work in Traffic and the underseen Wonder Boys in 2000, he churned out four lazy projects Don’t Say A Word (2001) and the flops It Runs in the Family (2003), The In-Laws and The Sentinel (2006), which marked his last studio vehicle until the Wall Street sequel in 2010.

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