Box Office Info:
|Budget: $175 million (estimated)||Financed by: Universal; Relativity|
|Domestic Gross: $100,462,298||Overseas Gross: $72,956,483|
The reported budget by Universal was $175 million, though most speculation has the production costs north of $210 million, making Evan Almighty the most expensive comedy ever made. The picture was originally going to be financed by Sony and Universal, but Sony pulled out when the expenses were expected to be at least $140 million. Relativity Media agreed to finance half of the budget with Universal. Relativity had recently set up a second hedge fund for investors to finance films through Sony and Universal called Gun Hill Road II, which had $700 million in equity and Evan Almighty was one of the first to dip into those funds. Relativity capped their investment at the initial budget and when the film was going massively over budget, Universal had to foot the added costs.
Universal also spent $50 million on domestic marketing for the oversized film and Universal’s parent company General Electric contributed an additional $25 million in marketing support for a green initiative. GE set up a Get on Board eco-awareness campaign to show audiences ways to slow down global warming and at the same time let people know Evan Almighty is opening soon in theaters — and also promoted how responsible the filmmakers were by recycling materials and bike riding on set instead of driving cars. We here at Bomb Report also recycle (especially the beer and liquor bottles) and use bicycles instead of cars. Not included in the GE green initiative was that they are one of the largest corporate producers of air pollution in the United States, releasing millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere every year. Evan Almighty is not only bad entertainment, it’s bad for the environment. You heard it here first folks.
Universal dated Evan Almighty for June 22, 2007 and in the weeks leading up to the release, director Tom Shadyac had an abusive temper tantrum at an Universal marketing meeting. He was enraged that the studio was capping the domestic P&A costs at $50 million, when he demanded an $80 million marketing blitz. He followed that by firing his long time marketing consultants Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones. Pointless Trivia: Shadyac had some sort of spiritual crisis later in 2007 and gave up his rich as-hole Hollywood lifestyle. He basically became a minimalist and ditched Tinseltown.
Along with the traditional ad campaign, Universal was also targeting religious groups and churches throughout their marketing push and previewing the pic in 50 cities to spread word of mouth. Evan Almighty received awful reviews and bowed against 1408 and A Mighty Heart. It was tracking for a $50 million opening, but came in with a very troubling $31,192,615 — placing #1 for the weekend. Any sign of the film reaching profit were killed off when it fell 51.5% in its second frame to $15,143,945 — when it lost most family auds to Ratatouille. Evan Almighty had enough legs to push the domestic total to the century mark at $100,462,298 which would only cover the ad spend in the US, after theaters take their percentage of the gross.
The overseas gross was a disastrous $72.9 million. After the film bled red ink, Universal canceled the Japan release and it was dumped straight to video, which was the final market left to open. The worldwide total was $173.4 million, leaving Universal with about $95.3 million after theaters take their cut — making Evan Almighty one of the biggest box office wipeouts of all time. The picture lost at least $100 million after ancillary sales.