Body of Lies
- Directed By: Ridley Scott
- Written By: William Monahan
- Release Date: October 10, 2008
- Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
- Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $100 million||Financed by: Warner Bros|
|Domestic Box Office: $39,394,666||Overseas Box Office: $75,702,620|
Body Of Lies was fully financed by Warner Bros which declined to take on a financial partner, since the project was a blueprint for success — with two bankable stars, DiCaprio & Crowe and directed by heavyweight Ridley Scott. The studio claimed the budget was just under $100 million, though rival studios pegged the budget far over $100 million. Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, director Ridley Scott and producer Donald DeLine also landed a lucrative back end deal, where they would all split 40% of all profits after the studio recouped its costs — there were certainly no profits.
Warner Bros gave the topical movie an expensive marketing blitz, trying to make Body Of Lies into an ‘event film’ with tons of TV spots months earlier during the summer Olympics. Even after the aggressive marketing campaign, interest for the film was low and the picture could not break free from audience’s reluctance to pay for films centering around the ‘war on terror.’ Not helping matters was a mixed to lukewarm response from critics.
Body of Lies bowed against Quarantine, The Express and City Of Ember and it was tracking for a $20 million opening at the high end of expectations. Two of the biggest A-list stars lost to a Chihuahua, when Body Of Lies tanked with $12,884,416 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Beverly Hills Chihuahua in its second frame. Warner Bros was hoping the pic would have strong holds and attract an older audience over the upcoming weeks, but it declined 47% the following weekend to $6,824,259 ending its chances at breaking out. Body Of Lies closed its domestic run with a weak $39,394,666.
Warner Bros released the picture in most overseas territories to modestly successful business, pulling in $75.7 million, but it was not enough to offset the poor domestic numbers. The worldwide total was $115 million, which would leave Warner’s percentage of the gross around $63.2 million after theaters take their cut. The pricey worldwide ad spend would not even be covered and the budget would be all red ink. The box office failure of Body Of Lies thankfully squashed any further adaptations from hack journalist David Ignatius’ jingoistic novels.