Miami Vice

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  • Directed By: Michael Mann
  • Written By: Michael Mann
  • Release Date: July 28, 2006
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong, Naomie Harris

Box Office Info:
Budget: $135 million (estimated) Financed by: Universal
Domestic Gross: $63,450,470 Overseas Gross: $100,344,039

In 2004 General Electric concluded their acquisition of Universal and then the conglomerate merged with NBC — which formed, the aptly named NBCUniversal.  Miami Vice was immediately mined from the NBC library and the property was brought over to the studio to be made into a movie.  Universal claimed the final budget for Miami Vice was $135 million, but the film was rumored to cost well over $150 million after the production went over schedule from three hurricanes, a shooting incident in the Dominican Republic and since this is a Michael Mann production — tempers flaring between the leads and the director, as well as omnidirectional rage from Mann toward the crew.  After the picture disappointed at the box office, it was reported that after ancillary sales, Universal would have at least a $30 million loss on Miami Vice.

Universal was so bullish on launching a big screen Miami Vice, that they foolishly set an impossible break even point for the movie.  Michael Mann received 8.5% of all the theatrical receipts, on top of his $6 million salary and the global P&A expenses were north of $100M.  The movie would have to pull in unrealistic numbers to get out of the red.  And Miami Vice sported some of the ugliest and cheapest looking digital cinematography, which reduced spectacle in the marketing material and it did not look like a big budget blockbuster that needed to be watched on a big screen.

Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx were also unreliable box office draws, who were both coming off major financial disasters.  Farrell had just weathered the failure of Alexander and after Foxx won an Oscar for Ray, he toplined the nuclear bomb Stealth and had a supporting turn in Jarhead.

Miami Vice was dated for the prime summer slot on July 28, 2006 and bowed against The Ant Bully and John Tucker Must Die.  Reviews were lukewarm and the film fell within expectations at $25,723,815 — winning the weekend and dethroning Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest off the top spot in its fourth weekend.  Universal expected Miami Vice to have strong legs at the box office and pull in a final gross similar to director Michael Mann’s Collateral ($101 million domestic), but it sank 60.2% in its second weekend to $10,227,880.  Miami Vice closed its domestic run with a very disappointing $63,450,470.

Miami Vice pulled in $100.3 million overseas, but the numbers were not strong enough to lift the weak domestic gross. The $163.7 million worldwide total would return about $90 million to Universal after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

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