Lords Of Dogtown

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  • Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke
  • Written By: Stacy Peralta
  • Release Date: June 3, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony (TriStar)
  • Cast: Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, America Ferrera

Box Office Info:
Budget: $25 million Financed by: Sony
Domestic Gross: $11,273,517 Overseas Gross: $2,138,440

Lords Of Dogtown was first developed in 1998 at FOX by David Fincher’s production company Indelible Pictures, but the studio put the project into turnaround when the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys was announced.  In December 1999, Indelible moved to New Line with a 3 year first-look deal, but the picture also never materialized.  Lords Of Dogtown then moved over to Senator International in 2002, which was set to fully finance and sell global distribution.  Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst was tapped by Fincher to direct.

The project once again never materialized and in early 2003, Sony acquired the property.  With Lords Of Dogtown now being developed as a studio movie, the budget was significantly higher than when it was an indie project and the studio did not want a first time director to helm the movie.  Fred Durst was then replaced by David Fincher.  Fincher demanded a $70 million budget to build a full-scale set of Pacific Ocean Park in Mexico.  The studio refused and Fincher walked away.  Catherine Hardwicke was hired to direct Lords Of Dogtown for a more responsible cost of $25 million.

For the release, Sony revived their dormant TriStar unit and Lords Of Dogtown would be the first production out of the gate.  It was dated for June 3, trying to court male teen auds, while The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants targeted younger females and Cinderella Man would take the adult crowd.  Reviews were mixed and tracking was pointing to a low teens bow, but the relaunched TriStar was off with a whimper, when it pulled in a terrible $5,623,373 — placing #7 for the weekend led by the holdover Madagascar.  Despite a decent audience reception, Lords Of Dogtown collapsed 67.1% in its second frame to $1,851,630 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with just $11,273,517.

Overseas, Sony opened the film wide in the UK in 314 theaters and it posted a disastrous $48,231 with a $154 per screen average, which doesn’t get much worse than that and it was out of cinemas with $90,721.  Sony released Lords of Dogtown in most markets, where it pulled in just $2,138,440.  The worldwide cume was $13.4M.  Sony would see returned about $7.3M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which barely dents just the P&A expenses.

Sony took an unspecified but large loss in their quarter report on XXX: State of the Union, Lords of Dogtown and Bewitched.

In 2007, Sony moved TriStar topper Valerie Van Galder to run marketing for Sony and the unit was merged back into the Sony fold.  It was revived yet again in 2013 as a separate division run by Tom Rothman.

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