• Che box office benicio del toro
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  • Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
  • Written By: Peter Buchman
  • Release Date: December 12, 2008
  • Domestic Distributor: IFC Films
  • Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Julia Ormond, Oscar Isaac

Box Office Info:
Budget: $61.5 million Financed by: Wild Bunch; Telecinco Cinema; Morena Films
Domestic Box Office: $1,497,109 Overseas Box Office: $29,824,849

Che was originally in active development with director Terrence Malick and in 2004 $15 million of overseas pre-sales were secured based on his involvement.  River Road was set to fully finance the picture, which was budgeted at $40 million.  Malick decided to abandon the project, which left Che in an uncertain state and he went off to helm The New World.

Steven Soderbergh was quickly attached, which kept the project from collapsing.  Soderbergh decided to film the movie in Spanish, which would have voided any major US cable sales, which required the movie to be shot in english and River Road and any other American financiers pulled out of the project.  All financing was then secured from European sources.  The $61.5 million budgeted two part film, was 75% financed by France’s Wild Bunch and 25% from Spain’s Telecinco Cinema and Morena Films.  Strong pre-sales covered an estimated $54 million – $58 million of the budget, leaving the financiers with low exposure to the risky project.  No US distributor was attached to Che.

Wild Bunch was looking to sell the US rights between $8 million – $10 million at its premiere at Cannes in May 2008, but all of the major US studios passed on Che.  One week after Che screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, IFC Films picked up US distribution and paid a low seven figure sum.  IFC gave the films a small theatrical release with part 1 and part 2 playing concurrently and Che never expanded beyond 39 theaters.  The films grossed $1,497,109 in the US and IFC also pushed a VOD release.

Overseas, the results were mixed, considering the huge pre-sale cash that distributors plunked down.  Spain was the strongest market with $9.7 million and the overseas total was a weak $29.8 million across multiple distributors who overpaid for the movies.  Certainly most distributors lost most of the acquisition expenses and their marketing spend.  Che: Part Two was sent straight to video in the UK and Spain.

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