The Black Dahlia
- Directed By: Brian De Palma
- Written By: Josh Friedman
- Release Date: September 15, 2006
- Domestic Distributor: Universal
- Cast: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $68 million||Financed by: Millennium/Nu Image; Apollo Media; Equity Pictures; Signature Pictures|
|Domestic Box Office: $22,545,080||Overseas Box Office: $26,787,612|
Brian De Palma’s The Black Dahlia was financed for $68 million by Millennium Films, the German film fund Apollo Media, the German fund Equity Pictures and Signature Pictures. Signature handled pre-sales, which were strong and covered the bulk of the expenses. Three weeks before filming completed, Universal acquired US distribution for $11 million at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival marketplace.
Millennium was making the transition from low budget direct to video action and genre schlock to bigger budget projects with A-list casts. Their first slate of mid to large budget fare were all money losers and with the exception of 16 Blocks, were all serious critical failures — The Black Dahlia, 88 Minutes, The Wicker Man, Edison and The Contract.
Universal dated The Black Dahlia for September 15 and heavily marketed the picture. Additional tie-in exposure came from news outlets and publications re-examining the actual unsolved murder case. It bowed against Gridiron Gang, Everyone’s Hero and The Last Kiss. Interest was initially high and The Black Dahlia was tracking for a solid $18M to $20M opening weekend, but reviews were mixed leaning negative and it came in far below expectations with $10,005,895 — placing #2 for the slow weekend led by Gridiron Gang. Audiences gave the film a rare and hateful D+ cinemascore and The Black Dahlia sank 55.5% in its second frame to $4,449,985 and declined 52.2% in its third session to $2,129,070. The domestic run closed with only $22,545,080. Universal would see back about $12.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would fall very short of the P&A spend and their acquisition cost.
Overseas, the movie did weak business, pulling in $26.7 million across numerous distributors who overpaid for the rights. Warner Bros distributed in Germany to a terrible $880,700 total. Entertainment released The Black Dahlia in the UK to a soft $3,176,305 and Japan posted the highest number with $4,829,692.