Against The Ropes
|Budget: $39 million||Financed by: Paramount; Filmbeteiligungs-Fonds II|
|Domestic Gross: $5,884,190||Domestic Distributor: Paramount|
|Overseas Gross: $730,090||
Directed by: Charles S. Dutton
Produced by: David Madden
A movie biopic about Jackie Kallen, the first female boxing manager had been in the works as early as 1992 but never materialized. In 1997 the project was brought over to Paramount and five years later, Against The Ropes would finally go before the cameras. Against The Ropes was financed by Paramount for $39 million and this Meg Ryan vehicle received some financial assistance from the German tax shelter Filmbeteiligungs-Fonds II. The now illegal tax shelter scheme had wealthy investors save on taxes by declaring a loss on a minimum $15,000 investment. By the end of 2002, lots of greedy individuals contributed to the fund, which amassed $92.4 million and would also go toward Paramount’s The Perfect Score. After Against The Ropes‘ financial failure, it marked the end of designing big budget projects around the once bankable Meg Ryan.
Against The Ropes was scheduled to open in April 2003, but in late March Paramount pushed the film back a year due to the extensive Iraq war coverage on television that the studio claimed would make their marketing efforts difficult to attract attention. It was eventually dated for February 6, 2004 and then moved back to February 20. Against The Ropes bowed against Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Eurotrip and Welcome to Mooseport. Reviews were terrible and it was dead on arrival with a dismal $3,038,546 — placing #8 for the weekend led by holdover 50 First Dates. The pic showed terrible legs, sinking 56.1% the following weekend to $1,333,157 and then promptly lost half of its theater count. Against The Ropes closed its domestic box office run with just $5,884,190.
Paramount dumped the picture overseas and Against The Ropes cumed only $730,090 and was given only a limited release in most markets. The worldwide cume was $6.6 million and Paramount would see back about $3.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which barely puts a dent in their P&A spend and leaves the budget in the red.