In the Valley of Elah

Budget: $23 million Financed by: NALA; Samuels Media Capital; Summit
Domestic Gross: $6,777,741 Domestic Distributor: Warner Independent
Overseas Gross: $22,764,049
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Tommy Lee Jones
Charlize Theron
Produced by: Stan Wlodkowski

In the Valley of Elah box officeFinanced for $23 million by NALA, Samuels Media Capital and Summit, who pre-sold the overseas rights, In the Valley of Elah would be prove to be a tough sell to audiences who tend to avoid films dealing with the ‘war on terror.’  Warner Independent distributed in the US and opened the film in 9 theaters to a soft $133,557 with a $14,839 per screen average.  WBI expanded the film in its second weekend to 317 theaters and it pulled in $1,266,869 and expanded to 762 theaters the following weekend with little growth at $1,512,310 and a poor $1,984 per screen average — and the action pic The Kingdom also opened and struggled to bring in auds because of the topical theme.  WBI expanded the film in its fourth weekend to 978 theaters with diminishing returns at $1,338,190 and it closed its US run with $6,777,741.  WBI would see back about $3.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving most of the prints and advertising and the awards campaign at a loss and no cash overages to flow back to the financiers.  U.K. based Optimum Releasing’s largest acquisition was In the Valley of Elah after being bought out by StudioCanal and Tommy Lee Jones’ Oscar nomination gave the film a bump in awareness and Optimum opened the film moderately wide in 216 theaters.  They expected the film to pull in between $1 million – $1.5 million for the weekend, but made a weak $684,348 and dropped a huge 68.2% second weekend to $217,507 and closed its UK run with just $1,734,605.  The film pulled in weak numbers in every territory, grossing $22.7 million overseas, across numerous distributors.  Following a crowded fall and winter season of ‘war on terror’ films, Paramount delayed their movie Stop-Loss to distance it from Elah, Rendition and Lions for Lambs which audiences outright rejected.

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