Basic Instinct 2

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  • Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Written By: Leora Barish, Henry Bean
  • Release Date: March 31, 2006
  • Domestic Distributor: Intermedia Films (through MGM)
  • Cast: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey

Box Office Info:
Budget: $70 million Financed by: Intermedia Films; IMF3
Domestic Gross: $5,971,336 Overseas Gross: $32,658,142

“I was completely broke and had to take anything that came in. Basic Instinct 2 was this poisoned chalice that had been passed around and eventually it arrived at my door.”
Director Michael Caton-Jones

This long in development belated sequel to the global hit Basic Instinct (1992) saw a revolving door of directors, year after year of potential start dates and in 2001 MGM dropped the project.  This prompted a lawsuit by Sharon Stone against the financiers Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar for failure to produce the film before the end of 2000, along with payment since she had a $14 million pay or play deal against 15% of gross receipts — and an obscene amount of contractual perks during production, including cast approval.  The settlement put this doomed turkey into active development at the end of 2004.  Basic Instinct launched big screen leading roles for Sharon Stone and Basic Instinct 2 marked the end of studio pictures built around her.

Budgeted at $70 million, Basic Instinct 2 was financed by the German based Intermedia Films and some coin was from the German tax shelter fund IMF3.  MGM was tapped to distribute in the US for Intermedia as a rent-a-distributor.  Mario Kassar’s C2 Pictures sold the foreign rights to many distributors, which actually sold well.

Basic Instinct 2 was dated for March 31, 2006 and buzz was non-existent.  Awful reviews did not help and it bowed against Ice Age: The Meltdown, ATL and SlitherBasic Instinct 2 was dead on arrival with $3,201,420 — placing #10 for the weekend led by Ice Age: The Meltdown.  Audiences did not like the pic any more than critics and gave it a toxic C cinemascore and it sank 68.2% to $1,017,607 in its second frame and was pulled out of release after its third week with a total of just $5,971,336.  MGM’s parent company Sony made it known MGM was acting as a rent-a-distributor and that the film’s financiers were responsible for the marketing costs, who would see back about $3.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — plus fees to MGM.

Overseas, Basic Instinct 2 saw a weak $32.6 million total, posting poor numbers in most markets.  France posted the film’s strongest numbers with a soft $3,284,227.  Despite being funded with German coin, Basic Instinct 2 cumed only $2.2 million for distributor Constantin.  After ancillary sales, the global P&A expenses were likely covered, but this fiasco looks to have hemorrhaged at least $70 million, leaving Basic Instinct 2 as one of the biggest flops of all time.


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