The Brothers Grimm

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  • Directed By: Terry Gilliam
  • Written By: Ehren Kruger
  • Release Date: August 26, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Miramax (Dimension)
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci

Box Office Info:
Budget: $88 million Financed by: Miramax; MGM
Domestic Box Office: $37,916,267 Overseas Box Office: $67,400,000

“It’s not the film [Bob and Harvey Weinstein] wanted and it’s not quite the film I wanted. It’s the film that is a result of two people, or two groups of people, who aren’t working well together.”
Terry Gilliam

The budget for The Brothers Grimm was $88 million after conflicts between director Terry Gilliam and producers Bob & Harvey Weinstein led to a miserable production that sent the film’s price-tag soaring.  The costs were originally set at $75 million, which was the largest budget Miramax’s genre label Dimension had greenlit.  The micro-managing and controlling tactics of the Weinsteins overrode Gilliam’s casting decisions, fired his cinematographer Nicola Pecorini halfway through filming and the production became so toxic that it was shut down for two weeks.  Gilliam then tried to exit the project, but his lawyer advised against that and he continued on with this mess.

After filming was completed, The Brothers Grimm had a prolonged post production because of more bickering between the filmmakers and producers.  When the arguments over the edit eventually hit an impasse, all parties stepped away from The Brothers Grimm and Gilliam actually went off and shot Tideland before locking an approved cut on Grimm

The costs and worldwide distribution were originally set to be split between Miramax and MGM, but during the long post production, MGM pulled out of the project and kept only a small equity investment in the film, but was still a first-dollar gross participant.  To help limit their exposure to the large budget, Miramax sold international rights to distributors at Cannes in 2004 and landed $40 million in sales. 

The already very delayed The Brothers Grimm was then bounced around the Miramax release calendar, before it was announced in March 2005 that the Weinsteins would be leaving Miramax in September and most of the movies that were rotting in their vault were hastily thrown into release.

The Brothers Grimm was eventually dated for the sleepy end of summer frame on August 26, 2005 and despite the last minute release before the Weinsteins left, they did strongly back the pic with $30 million in P&A expenses.  It bowed against The Cave and Undiscovered and reviews were mixed.  The Brothers Grimm was booked into 3,087 theaters and came in slightly above its modest expectations with $15,092,079 — placing #2 over the slow weekend led by the holdover The 40-Year-Old Virgin.  Audiences gave the movie a terrible C cinemascore and The Brothers Grimm sank 52.3% in its second weekend to $7,195,019 and fell 53.5% in its third weekend to $3,343,644.  The domestic run closed with $37,916,267.  Miramax would see returned about $20.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — less after the undisclosed first dollar points awarded to MGM.

Overseas, the film played to mostly mediocre numbers, with Disney releasing in the UK to a weak $4.2 million and Metropolitan distributed in France to a decent enough $9.8 million, which posted the highest overseas gross.  The offshore cume was $67,400,000 across many distributors.

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