Cinderella Man

  • Cinderella Man box office
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  • Directed By: Ron Howard
  • Written By: Akiva Goldsman, Cliff Hollingsworth
  • Release Date: June 3, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti

Box Office Info:
Budget: $88 million Financed by: Universal; Miramax; Disney
Domestic Gross: $61,649,911 Overseas Gross: $46,890,000

cinderella man 2005
Cinderella Man was co-financed for $88 million by Universal and Miramax and Disney paid for half of their sibling Miramax’s investment and would distribute the film overseas through Buena Vista Intl.  Universal handled domestic distribution.  Along with commanding large salaries, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, all received rich backend participation deals.  Renée Zellweger had a package contract with both Universal and Miramax that landed her a $21 million payday for starring in Cinderella Man and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

Universal originally planned on a December 17, 2004 release as a major awards contender, but Russell Crowe was injured training for the film and production had to be pushed back.  Cinderella Man was moved to March 18, 2005 and then pushed to June 3, 2005.  The studio positioned the film as a summer counter-programmer for adults and Universal hoped it would have long legs throughout the summer like previous successful adult fare in recent years Seabiscuit and Road To Perdition.

Nationwide previews were held the weekend before its release in 761 theaters to 90% capacity to spread word of mouth.  Universal also heavily backed the movie with a marketing blitz north of $40 million.  It bowed against The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lords Of Dogtown and reviews were positive.

Cinderella Man was booked in 2,812 theaters and came in below expectations at $18,320,205 — placing #4 for the weekend led by holdover Madagascar.  The film received an A+ cinemascore from audiences and was expected to break out from the positive response, but Cinderella Man declined 46.9% the following weekend to $9,728,955 killing its chances at breaking out.

Universal blamed the June release date as the reason for the box office disappointment and questioned whether the film would have played better if positioned as an end of the year award contender — but Russell Crowe’s off screen behavior, who was arrested just days after the movie opened from throwing a phone at a hotel clerk, didn’t help.  In late November, after the film was a commercial flop, Universal put the film back in 5 theaters and gave it a heavy awards campaign, which didn’t exactly pay off when it only mustered a supporting actor nomination for Paul Giamatti and editing and makeup.  Cinderella Man stalled out of release with a disappointing $61,649,911 leaving Universal with about $33.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which did not even cover the domestic P&A costs.

Buena Vista Intl. overhauled the marketing for its overseas release, with less emphasis on the depression era setting and more on the love story between its bankable leads, but the film also did not see commercial success.  Cinderella Man cumed a soft $4.1 million in the UK and $4.5 million in Australia.  It bombed in France with $2.1 million and was a disaster in Germany with $666,350 and the strongest market was $10.1 million from Japan.  The overseas total was $46,890,000.

Slightly padding the huge loss, was the network TNT paid $8 million for cable rights.

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