- Directed By: Joe Roth
- Written By: Richard Price
- Release Date: February 17, 2006
- Domestic Distributor: Sony
- Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $37 million||Financed by: Revolution Studios; Sony|
|Domestic Box Office: $12,512,886||Overseas Box Office: $2,142,742|
Paramount purchased the rights to Richard Price’s novel Freedomland for producer Scott Rudin, before it was even published in 1998. The studio commissioned the author to adapt his work into a screenplay, which was completed in 2000. Eventually Paramount put Freedomland into turnaround and Revolution Studios acquired the project from Paramount. The head of Revolution Joe Roth decided he wanted to direct the big screen version of the acclaimed novel and his previous directing efforts were the high art projects Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise and Christmas with the Kranks. Perhaps in a stronger director’s hands, Freedomland would not have been skewered by critics and landed in a commercial dead zone.
Revolution had a slate financing agreement with Sony, which had Sony contribute 42.5% of the budget and 100% of the marketing costs and Sony would distribute worldwide. Freedomland was budgeted at $37 milion. Sony/Revolution originally slated a limited December 23, 2005 award qualifying run, before going wide in January, but scrapped those plans and pushed this turkey to February 17. Before Freedomland‘s release, Revolution Studios stopped all development on all projects after a string of flops, as its contract with Sony would expire in 2007 and it was unknown if it would be renewed. The company was shuttered in 2007.
Freedomland was booked into 2,361 theaters over the President’s Day frame, where it bowed against Eight Below and the moronic spoof Date Movie. There was little buzz and it was dead on arrival with $5,833,562 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Eight Below. Audiences gave Freedomland a terrible C+ cinemascore and the film declined 50.8% in its second frame to $2,872,215 and tumbled 79.5% in its third session to $588,112 and was pulled from release after only four weeks with $12,512,886. Sony would see returned about $6.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving most of the prints and advertising spend in the red and the budget at a loss.
Sony gave the film a small release overseas, where it cumed $2.1 million and the studio sent it straight to video in most markets.