The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
- Directed By: David L. Cunningham
- Written By: John Hodge
- Release Date: October 5, 2007
- Domestic Distributor: FOX/Walden
- Cast: Alexander Ludwig, Christopher Eccleston, Ian McShane
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: Walden Media; FOX|
|Domestic Box Office: $8,794,452||Overseas Box Office: $22,606,288|
It was announced in July 1997 that Jim Henson Pictures acquired the rights to the book series The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, but the project never materialized. After the rights expired at Henson Pictures, Walden Media purchased the property and set out to launch a franchise. Walden and FOX formed a partnership ‘Fox Walden’ that would co-finance and market the films and this was the first production under this arrangement. The budget for The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising was $40 million.
The Fox Walden slate of pictures were designed to be ‘event’ films and were primed to take advantage of free marketing and exposure on all FOX owned channels. Even with the free exposure and an expensive P&A spend, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising was tracking very poorly and reviews were terrible.
Fox Walden was off to a miserable start when The Seeker had the second worst opening for a film playing in over 3,000 theaters. The record holder was another Walden production Hoot (2006). The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising was booked into 3,141 theaters and bowed against The Heartbreak Kid and Feel The Noise.
It was dead on arrival with $3,745,315 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the holdover The Game Plan, which was also courting young male auds. The Seeker declined 40.9% in its second weekend to $2,212,955 and then promptly lost most of its theater count. Also at the time of release, it saw the largest theater drop on record, losing 2,338 locations. The domestic run closed with only $8,794,452.
FOX released the film overseas in most markets and the movie pulled in terrible numbers from almost every country, totaling $22.6M. The worldwide gross was $31.4M and Fox Walden would see returned about $17.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which leaves much of the global P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.