The Alamo

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  • Directed By: John Lee Hancock
  • Written By: Leslie Bohem, Stephen Gaghan, John Lee Hancock
  • Release Date: April 9, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson

Box Office Info:
Budget: $107 million Financed by: Disney
Domestic Gross: $22,414,961 Overseas Gross: $3,405,000

the alamo 2004
The Alamo was originally set up between Disney, producer Brian Grazer, director Ron Howard and star Russell Crowe, but Disney’s Michael Eisner would not come to terms with a $125 million budget and $30 million of the costs going to the three men, in addition to 25% of the gross.  Disney instead hired John Lee Hancock as director and set the budget around $75 million, which soon swelled to $107 million and after US distributions costs, The Alamo cost Disney $140 million, according to financial investor reports.

The Alamo was to be a prestige 2003 Christmas event release and Oscar contender, but it was pushed back as Disney claimed it was not ready and slated the film for an Easter release on April 9, 2004. The Alamo opened a week after Disney’s animated fiasco Home On The Range.  Even after the pricey marketing push, The Alamo was tracking soft and mixed to poor reviews kept auds away.

It bowed against a slew of flops — The Girl Next DoorThe Whole Ten YardsElla Enchanted and Johnson Family Vacation and pulled in a disastrous $9,124,701 — placing #4 for the weekend led by The Passion Of The Christ in its 7th week.  The Alamo sank 54.6% in its second weekend to $4,138,571 and fell 50.9% to $2,033,127 in its third session.  It closed its run as one of the biggest money losers of all time with $22,414,961 — leaving Disney with about $12.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Disney dumped the expensive film overseas in a small release in only a few countries to just $3,405,000 and sent The Alamo straight to video in almost every market.  Disney did not release their exact write-down on the picture, but it was estimated to be at least $80 million.

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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