Raising Helen

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  • Directed By: Garry Marshall
  • Written By: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
  • Release Date: May 28, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 million Financed by: Beacon Pictures; Disney
Domestic Gross: $37,486,512 Overseas Gross: $12,232,099

raising helen 2004
Beacon Pictures co-financed Raising Helen with Disney for $50 million and Kate Hudson landed a $7M payday for this disposable comedy.  Beacon was infused with $250 million in funds from an assortment of lenders led by JPMorgan in late 2003 and inked a five year co-financing and distribution deal with Disney.  Raising Helen was the first film to use those funds.

The Kate Hudson vehicle was originally scheduled to open on September 17, 2004 but it was moved forward to the Memorial Day weekend on May 28.  Disney held a nation wide sneak preview of Raising Helen on Mother’s Day May 9th to help spread word of mouth.  The film was positioned over the holiday frame as counter-programming to The Day After Tomorrow and also the low budget comedy Soul Plane bowed.

Raising Helen received awful reviews and pulled in a soft $10,985,597 — placing #4 for the weekend led by the holdover Shrek 2.  Raising Helen declined 40.4% to $6,550,342 in its second frame and fell 43.4% in its third session to $3,705,336.  The domestic run closed with a soft $37,486,512.

Disney released Raising Helen overseas to poor numbers, with Australia posting the highest gross with $3.4M and almost every market pulled in less than a million dollars.  The overseas cume was just $12,232,099.  The worldwide total was $49.7M and the mouse house would see returned about $27.3M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which leaves much of the global P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

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.

Less than three months after Raising Helen tanked, director Garry Marshall saw box office success on another vacuous Disney pic The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

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