Little Children

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  • Directed By: Todd Field
  • Written By: Todd Field, Tom Perrotta
  • Release Date: October 6, 2006
  • Domestic Distributor: New Line
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley

Box Office Info:
Budget: $26 million Financed by: New Line
Domestic Box Office: $5,463,019 Overseas Box Office: $9,358,639

“The truth is that this film came together very quickly. We brought New Line the script; Kent Alterman and Toby Emmerich at New Line said, “Yes, we love it — go make it.” And they gave me complete freedom. They gave me as much rope as I could have to hang myself. It was nice not to have to go struggle to get a budget together. I think that’s rare, and I think they were kind of crazy for letting me make this movie. Seriously — I mean, what the hell were they thinking?”
Director Todd Field

Little Children was Todd Field’s follow up project to his acclaimed low budget feature debut In The Bedroom (2001).  New Line financed for $26 million and the mini-major took the project to the 2005 Cannes Film Festival for pre-sales, which would limit their risk on the picture.  Little Children premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2006, landed strong reviews and would be heavily pushed by New Line as a major Oscar contender.

New Line dated the film for a limited release on October 6 and initially planned for a nationwide expansion in November.  Little Children was booked into 5 theaters, on the same day as New Line’s wide release The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and it pulled in $97,953 with a per screen average of $19,590.  New Line never expanded Little Children beyond 37 theaters for two months, nixing the Nov. expansion and instead waited for award nominations to be announced before a nationwide rollout.

Little Children picked up 3 Oscar nominations (Kate Winslet for Best Actress, Jackie Earle Haley for Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay), but the picture was written off as non-commercial and was never expanded beyond 115 theaters.  Little Children remained in limited release for a very long 27 weeks, but its domestic run stalled at $5,463,019.  New Line would see back about $2.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Overseas, Little Children pulled in only $9.3 million across numerous distributors.  Spain posted the strongest numbers with a soft $1,197,068.  Even with all of the accolades the movie received, it was never released on the Blu-Ray format and the DVD was released barebones.  Todd Field never had another project make it into production after Little Children. 

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