Lord Of War

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  • Directed By: Andrew Niccol
  • Written By: Andrew Niccol
  • Release Date: September 16, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 millionFinanced by: Ascendant Pictures; VIP 3; Endgame Entertainment; Philippe Rousselet
Domestic Box Office: $24,149,632Overseas Box Office: $48,467,436


After all of the major studios passed on Lord Of War, French producer Philippe Rousselet independently secured the $50 million budget.  Arclight Entertainment handled global pre-sales, which amounted to $30 million.  The remaining capital was from the German tax shelter fund VIP 3, Ascendant Pictures, Endgame Entertainment and some of Rousselet’s own money.

After production wrapped, Lionsgate acquired US rights for $10 million and dated Lord of War for September 16, 2005.  It bowed against Just Like Heaven and landed lukewarm reviews.  Lord Of War came in below expectations with a disappointing $9,390,144 — placing #3 for the slow weekend led by Just Like Heaven.  It declined 46.4% in its second frame to $5,034,906 and then sank 51.1% in its third weekend to $2,462,153.  The domestic run closed with $24,149,632.  Lionsgate would see returned about $13.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which is far below their P&A expenses.  In an investor relations report, Lionsgate posted a $26 million loss for Lord Of War and The Devil’s Rejects because of the expensive P&A spend attributed to mainly Lord Of War.  

The movie did mostly soft numbers overseas for the numerous distributors who plunked down the $30 million in pre-sales and SND saw the highest return from France with $8,318,438.  Lord Of War grossed a total of $48,467,436 across many distributors.  One month after this opened, another Nicolas Cage movie, The Weather Man crashed and burned at the box office.

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