Love In The Time of Cholera

  • Love In The Time of Cholera box office
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  • Directed By: Mike Newell
  • Written By: Ronald Harwood
  • Release Date: November 16, 2007
  • Domestic Distributor: Stone Village (through New Line)
  • Cast: Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo

Box Office Info:
Budget: $48 millionFinanced by: Stone Village; Grosvenor Park
Domestic Gross: $4,607,608Overseas Gross: $26,729,976


Scott Steindorff’s Stone Village Pictures paid Gabriel García Márquez more than $1 million for the rights to his 1985 novel Love In The Time of Cholera, plus a production bonus which would see the author receive a $3 million pay day — at least someone made money from this terrible adaptation.  Márquez had refused to option the rights to be made into a film since its publication in 1985.  Steindorff spent two years trying to get those rights and closed the deal in July 2004.

The period drama was financed for a pricey $48 million by Stone Village and Summit handled international pre-sales, which kicked off at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and the project sold well to distributors.  After Stone Village’s investment, tax rebates and the pre-sales, additional gap investment was provided by Grosvenor Park.

New Line was used as a rent-a-distributor for Stone Village for the domestic release and Stone Village paid for the marketing expenses and a fee went to New Line for use of its distribution resources.  Love In The Time of Cholera was positioned as a potential awards contender and dated for November 16, 2007.  Any heat the picture had was cooled off when it was panned by critics.  The decision was made to sidestep a platform release and open it moderately wide into 852 theaters, to quickly pull in as many auds before sour word of mouth spreads.  Along with toxic reviews that pushed Love In The Time of Cholera into a commercial dead zone, the movie was completely overshadowed by No Country For Old Men — which had opened in limited release the week prior and Javier Bardem was landing major attention only for No Country.

Love In The Time of Cholera bowed against BeowulfMr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and tanked with $1,924,860 and a not very promising $2,259 per screen average.  It placed #10 for the weekend led by Beowulf and even came in behind No Country For Old Men which was only in 148 theaters.  Cholera had weak legs and declined 49.8% in its second frame to $966,983 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed after just 5 weeks with only $4,607,608.  Stone Village would see back about $2.5M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving most of their P&A costs in the red, plus a fee to New Line.

The picture posted a decent $5.4 million in Italy, which was the strongest offshore market and FOX released the film in Mexico to a respectable $4.2 million, but the numbers were soft to poor in most countries.  The overseas cume was $26.7M across numerous distributors.

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