Martian Child

  • Martian Child box office
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  • Directed By: Menno Meyjes
  • Written By: Seth Bass, Jonathan Tolins
  • Release Date: November 2, 2007
  • Domestic Distributor: New Line
  • Cast: John Cusack, Bobby Coleman, Amanda Peet

Box Office Info:
Budget: $27 million Financed by: New Line
Domestic Box Office: $7,500,310 Overseas Box Office: $1,851,434

Back in October 2002, screenwriters Jonathan Tolins and Seth Bass pitched Martian Child to New Line, which came onboard and paid the scribes a high-six figure salary.  Martian Child began development in 2004 and New Line took the project to the 2005 Cannes Film Festival market for overseas sales.  New Line financed Martian Child for $27 million and did reduce their exposure to the budget from international sales.  Filming was completed in July 2005 and New Line bounced the release date around for two years.  Martian Child was eventually dated for November 2, 2007 and then the studio scheduled last minute extensive reshoots by director Jerry Zucker (Airplane!, Ghost).

Martian Child bowed against Bee Movie (and would be directly competing for family auds) and American Gangster.  With little buzz and mixed to poor reviews, the PG rated pic tanked with an opening weekend of $3,376,669 in 2,020 theaters — placing #7 for the frame led by American Gangster.  Martian Child declined 45.4% in its second session to $1,843,767 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run quickly closed with a poor $7,500,310.  New Line would see back about $4.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave most of their prints and advertising costs at a loss and the budget in the red.

Overseas, the film posted a small $1.8 million across numerous distributors and went straight to video in Russia, Italy and most smaller markets.

New Line had a generally poor year in 2007 and inexplicably fired their long term marketing chief Russell Schwartz in August — two weeks after New Line’s biggest hit in years Hairspray.  New Line’s fall slate was dire with box office bombs Rendition, Mr. Woodcock and Shoot ‘Em Up.

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