Rent

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    [Total: 13 Average: 2.8]
  • Directed By: Chris Columbus
  • Written By: Stephen Chbosky
  • Release Date: November 23, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony
  • Cast: Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 millionFinanced by: Revolution Studios; Sony
Domestic Gross: $29,077,547Overseas Gross: $2,593,073


This big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway show Rent was first optioned by Miramax back in 1996 and the multimillion deal required that the release of the film had to be delayed until 2001, so that it would not interfere with the stage run.  Nothing ever materialized from the Miramax option, including an aborted version due to budget concerns, which was to be helmed by Spike Lee.

Miramax head Harvey Weinstein also tried to quietly broker a deal with NBC to make Rent into a TV movie, but the family of the deceased playwright Jonathan Larson had the contractual right to enforce a feature film.  After the TV movie rights issue, director Chris Columbus became attached to the picture and Weinstein allowed him to bring the movie to Warner Bros for development.  WB wanted to cap the budget at $20 million, so Columbus then took Rent over to Revolution Studios.  Pointless Trivia: Revolution was run by the former chairman of FOX Joe Roth, who had scored one of his biggest hits with another Chris Columbus helmed movie that was sent his way from turnaround by Warner Bros — Home Alone.

Joe Roth agreed to finance the movie and paid Weinstein $4 million for the rights.  The budget for Rent was $50 million.  Revolution’s financing slate agreement with Sony had Sony contribute 42.5% of the budget and 100% of the marketing costs.  Sony distributed in most territories.

Rent opened over the crowded Thanksgiving frame and received $27 million for its domestic marketing spend.  It bowed against Yours, Mine and Ours, Just Friends, The Ice Harvest and In The Mix.  Mixed reviews and dated material did not help its appeal and it pulled in $10,016,021 for the weekend and a total of $17,138,943 for the 5-day holiday frame.  It placed #5 for the weekend led by the holdover Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireMore Pointless Trivia: Chris Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter installments.

Despite a solid A- cinemascore from audiences, Rent did not attract enough ticket buyers outside of its fanbase and the film sank 55.7% the following session to $4,441,633 which ended its chances at breaking out.  The film saw a 54.9% third weekend decline to $2,004,157 and Rent closed its domestic run with a terrible $29,077,547.

Sony dumped the film in a limited release overseas, where it pulled in just $2,593,073 and it went straight to video in Spain.  The worldwide total was $31.6 million leaving Sony with about $17.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover their P&A spend and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.

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