Alexander

  • alexander 2004 box office
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  • Directed By: Oliver Stone
  • Written By: Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle, Laeta Kalogridis
  • Release Date: November 24, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins

Box Office Info:
Budget: $155 millionFinanced by: Intermedia Films
Domestic Box Office: $34,297,191Overseas Box Office: $133,001,001


Oliver Stone’s Alexander went into development with another competing Alexander The Great film, which would have been directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and produced by Dino De Laurentiis.  Both projects were racing to secure pre-sales coin from distributors and lock the other out of sold territories, but the Oliver Stone project made it in front of the cameras first and the Luhrmann film fell apart.

The budget for Alexander was $155 million and German based Intermedia financed the majority of the production and to help limit their exposure to the expensive project, the film sold very well in pre-sales through Summit.  Alexander was the largest independent European production when it began filming in 2003.   It would also mark the third and last time Intermedia would finance a risky massive production.  The company tried to expand with expensive titles that tied up all of their capital, beginning with the box office disaster K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) and they saw some cash overages from Terminator 3 (2003).

Warner Bros acquired US rights and a few other territories for $35 million and originally scheduled the film for a release as an awards hopeful on November 5.  WB pushed the release to the Thanksgiving frame, to give Stone more time to lock his edit and push the marketing campaign away from the November 2 presidential election.  Alexander opened against Christmas with the Kranks and any buzz the film had was deflated from dreadful reviews.  There was also much mocking of a bleach blonde Alexander played by Colin Farrell, the casting of his mother played by Angelina Jolie who is one year older than Farrell and a ridiculed performance by Anthony Hopkins.

Alexander pulled in a disappointing $13,687,087 in 2,445 theaters.  The 5-day holiday cume was $21,837,517.  It placed #6 for the frame led by the Disney holdovers National Treasure and The Incredibles.  Audiences gave Alexander a hateful D+ cinemascore and the film collapsed at the box office, sinking 65.2% in its second weekend to $4,756,445 and it plummeted 68.9% in its third session to $1,479,348.  It flopped out of theaters with $34,297,191.  Warner Bros would see back about $18.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their P&A expenses or their acquisition cost.  The film sold well enough on home video that WB commissioned Stone to release three additional edits of the picture.

Overseas, Alexander fared better than it did in the US with a $133,001,001 gross across many distributors, but it was not strong enough for a film with a colossal budget and certainly not strong enough to cover the dreary domestic gross.  While the film reached profit in some markets, there would not be enough cash overages to flow back to Intermedia and the company posted a $29.4 million loss for the year, which came from Alexander and some of that loss was from delayed projects a few years old that saw a release to miserable box office numbers, Suspect Zero and Mindhunters.

6 Comments

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  1. I remember seeing this in 2004 with my then girlfriend. I remember how hard we laughed at the scene where Alexander rears up on the back of an elephant. I also remember that there were only two other people in the theater watching besides us. It was neither a great film nor a terrible film, just not one I would ever go to the trouble to watch again….

  2. Happy 15th Anniversary! Knowing that InterMedia rushed out the entire thing (minus post-prod) in order to fend off Baz Luhrman’s project (against Stone’s wishes), I feel that the movie would’ve been better had they slow down the process or made a deal with HBO or Showtime to make it as a mini-series.

  3. We saw this at the dollar theater. It wasn’t worth it. The worst part was when the whole film turned red, for no apparent reason.

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