Around The World In 80 Days

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  • Directed By: Frank Coraci
  • Written By: David N. Titcher, David Benullo, David Andrew Goldstein
  • Release Date: June 16, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Cécile de France, Jim Broadbent

Box Office Info:
Budget: $115 million Financed by: Walden Media
Domestic Gross: $24,008,137 Overseas Gross: $48,170,758

Phil Anschutz’s Walden Media financed this large budgeted disaster for $115 million and Around The World In 80 Days had just over half of its costs covered from successful pre-sales by Summit.  During development in 2002, Paramount boarded the project as domestic distributor and dated the movie as a holiday tentole for November 21, 2003.  In January 2003, Paramount pulled out of distribution duties, citing that the cast was not bankable enough.  The fate of the remake was up in the air, but Walden went ahead with production without a domestic distributor, as expensive sets had been constructed and Jackie Chan had a lucrative $18.5 million pay-or-play deal.

Disney signed on as domestic distributor in October 2003 after executives viewed a rough cut without visual effects — acquiring the US rights in the low $20-million range.  The mouse house then invested near $40 million into a P&A spend.  Disney scheduled Around The World In 80 Days for June 16, 2004 and it entered a market crowded with family fare already in release — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Shrek 2 and Garfield: The Movie.

It bowed against DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and The Terminal.  Reviews were mixed and Around The World In 80 Days pulled in a miserable $7,576,132 — placing #9 for the weekend led by DodgeBall.  The film declined 43.6% the following weekend to $4,274,941 before crashing 76.3% the third weekend to $1,015,138.  Around The World In 80 Days closed its US run with a terrible $24,008,137.  Disney would see returned about $13.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross and no cash overages would flow back to Walden.

Around The World In 80 Days pulled in mostly awful numbers overseas for the distributors who overpaid for the rights, with an ok $9.4 million from Germany as the highest tally.  The offshore total was just $48,170,758 across numerous distributors, leaving this remake as one of the costliest blunders at the box office — which ended as nearly a $100 million write-down.

Disney had a terrible 2004, which saw massive money losers start with Hidalgo, then The Alamo and Home On The Range bombed a few weeks later, then Raising Helen and Around The World In 80 Days and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou capped off the year with a huge loss.

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