The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

  • The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou box office
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  • Directed By: Wes Anderson
  • Written By: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach
  • Release Date: December 10, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney (Touchstone)
  • Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum

Box Office Info:
Budget: $60 million Financed by: Disney
Domestic Box Office: $24,020,403 Overseas Box Office: $10,788,000

“It was I think probably the biggest money loser on my watch.”
–President of the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group Nina Jacobson

After the financial success of The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Disney and director Wes Anderson re-teamed for this follow up project.  Disney greenlit the picture with a $53 million budget and Wes Anderson has stated that during the production the budget for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou climbed to $60 million.  Disney released the picture through their Touchstone label and The Life Aquatic was positioned as the studio’s end of year awards hopeful on December 10.  Mixed reviews left the pricey movie in a commercial dead zone.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou was given an exclusive two week run at L.A.’s Grove and Lincoln Square in Manhattan.  It pulled in a very strong $113,085 in the two theaters, with a $56,542 per screen average.  The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou expanded to 1,105 theaters in its third weekend, over the crowded Christmas frame against Meet the Fockers, the wide expansion of The Aviator, The Phantom of the Opera, Fat Albert and Darkness.  It struggled with $4,547,181 — placing #9 for the weekend led by Fockers.  Audiences gave the movie a hateful D cinemascore, which did not help its limited appeal.  The Life Aquatic declined only 2.7% over the New Year frame to $4,424,122 — but the film quickly lost traction, declining 38% the following weekend to $2,744,639 and The Life Aquatic never expanded beyond 1,105 theaters.  The domestic run closed with only $24,020,403.

Disney released the film overseas to mostly terrible numbers, with a soft $3 million from the UK as the strongest gross and the film performed poorly in France with $1.5 million.  The overseas cume was a mere $10,788,000.  The worldwide total was $34.8 million, leaving Disney with about $19.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover P&A expenses and leave the budget in the red.

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