Ella Enchanted

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  • Directed By: Tommy O’Haver
  • Written By: Laurie Craig, Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith, Jennifer Heath, Michele J. Wolff
  • Release Date: April 9, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Miramax
  • Cast: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes

Box Office Info:
Budget: $35 million Financed by: Miramax
Domestic Gross: $22,918,387 Overseas Gross: $4,470,380

Miramax purchased the rights to the bestselling children’s book Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine in January 2000.  Miramax decided to dip their toes in the family market and set up a slate of films to finance they called the “teddy slate” which Ella Enchanted would be the first put into production for $35 million.  The pic was originally scheduled for an August 2003 release, but was pushed back to April 9, 2004 and opened against a slew of flops — The Girl Next DoorThe Whole Ten YardsThe Alamo and Johnson Family Vacation. 

Ella Enchanted had little buzz and entered a saturated market with kids fare — The Prince and Me and Home On The Range opened the weekend prior and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was in its third frame.  Ella Enchanted pulled in a poor $6,169,030 — placing #9 for the weekend led by holdover The Passion Of The Christ.  Ella Enchanted dipped a modest 31.3% in its second session to $4,241,089 and had another small 30.1% decline in its third weekend to $2,965,922 but dropped 40.4% to $1,766,395 when Mean Girls entered the market.  Ella Enchanted closed its domestic run with a disappointing $22,918,387.  Miramax would see returned about $12.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover the P&A costs and leave the budget in the red.

Overseas, Miramax’s parent company Disney released the film in the UK, where it bombed with $1.5 million and pulled in similar numbers in Australia with $1.3 million, which comprised most of the awful $4,470,380 overseas cume.  Ella Enchanted was dumped straight to video in Germany and Mexico.

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