Laws Of Attraction

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  • Directed By: Peter Howitt
  • Written By: Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling
  • Release Date: April 30, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: New Line
  • Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen

Box Office Info:
Budget: $45 millionFinanced by: MHF Zweite Academy Film; R2D2; New Line
Domestic Gross: $17,871,255Overseas Gross: $12,144,910

laws of attraction 2004
Laws Of Attraction was originally going to be financed by Intermedia and Stratus Film, but negotiations over securing the financing became difficult between the companies and Ron Tudor and David Bergstein, who ran R2D2, took on financial responsibilities.  They paid back Intermedia’s investment, plus a producer fee and Stratus would receive a small percentage of the film’s backend.  New Line supplied 20% of the budget in return for domestic distribution rights; 32% of the budget came from foreign pre-sales from Initial Entertainment Group and Summit; tax subsidies from Ireland, UK and Germany covered nearly 40% of the costs of the $45 million budget.  The final 10% of the budget was from R2D2 and the German MHF Zweite Academy Film.  All that complicated puzzle piece financing for a poorly reviewed generic rom-com.

Part of New Line’s marketing campaign was placing fake divorce attorney ads in newspapers across the country for Julianne Moore’s lawyer character Audrey Woods beneath the words “I’m Not a Shark.”  Instead of getting auds interested in the movie, tons of complaints were sent to lawyers’ groups like the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which wanted to discipline Audrey Woods for not listing her law license.

Laws Of Attraction was dated for April 30, 2004 and bowed against Mean Girls, Envy, Godsend and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius and pulled in a poor $6,728,905.  It placed #5 for the weekend led by Mean Girls.  New Line distribution president David Tuckerman said about the femme skewing movie: “It was a one-quadrant film and our quadrant didn’t come. Laws Of Attraction declined 45.3% in its second weekend to $3,678,133 and fell 45.4% the third weekend to $2,009,380 and quietly left theaters with $17,871,255.  New Line would see returned about $9.7 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far below their P&A spend and their exposure to the budget.

Entertainment distributed the film in the UK in 302 theaters to a poor $2,277,196.  Roadshow dumped the film in Australia in 87 theaters to a mere $413,795 total and the overseas cume was just $12,144,910 across numerous distributors who overpaid for the movie during pre-sales.

Years later MHF Zweite Academy Film sued New Line’s parent company Warner Bros for collecting revenue from the film and The Whole Ten Yards after Tudor’s association with the bankrupt Franchise Pictures led to the rights reverting back to the German company.  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, which lead to another suit.

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