The Last Legion

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  • Directed By: Doug Lefler
  • Written By: Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth
  • Release Date: August 17, 2007
  • Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company/MGM
  • Cast: Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Box Office Info:
Budget: $67 millionFinanced by: Quinta Communications; Ingenious Film Partners; Zephyr Films
Domestic Box Office: $5,933,494Overseas Box Office: $19,369,544

the last legion 2007
The budget for The Last Legion was $67 million and financing was provided by Quinta Communications, Ingenious Film Partners and Zephyr Films.   Producer Dino De Laurentiis and head of Quinta, Tarak Ben Ammar brought three big projects to pre-sell at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival — The Last Legion, Hannibal Rising and The Decameron.  It is at the 2005 Cannes Festival where the Weinsteins launched their new company (aptly named The Weinstein Company), when the producing brothers were fresh off their Miramax divorce from Disney.  At the festival they secured major capital from Goldman Sachs and immediately took the rights to the three pictures that Ammar and De Laurentiis were shopping.

Tarak Ben Ammar then decided he would heavily invest in the formation of The Weinstein Company after the Weinsteins committed to distribute the films and took a seat on their board.  As for the packaged movies, The Last Legion was basically dumped and bombed miserably, Hannibal Rising disappointed at the box office and The Decameron was retitled Virgin Territory and sent straight to video.

The Last Legion was originally scheduled for an October 2006 release and then was delayed numerous times, before TWC were contractually forced to release the pic in at least 1,500 theaters by the end of August 2007.  The Last Legion was eventually dumped with a minimal P&A spend, atrocious and cheap looking marketing material and was not screened for critics.  Reviews that eventually posted were negative.

It was booked into 2,002 theaters and bowed against Superbad and The Invasion and pulled in a terrible $2,746,312 — placing #12 for the weekend led by Superbad.  The film sank 67.2% to $901,294 in its second frame and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with just $5,933,494.

Overseas, the film did not fare much better.  Sword and Sandal epics usually play well in Russia and the movie did open at #1 with a soft $1,639,149, but quickly left theaters with just $3.4 million.  The film pulled in an ok $5.6 million from Spain, but tanked in every other market, bringing its overseas run to $19.3 million across numerous distributors.  After ancillary sales, the picture lost at least $50 million. 

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