Mad Money

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  • Directed By: Callie Khouri
  • Written By: Glenn Gers
  • Release Date: January 18, 2008
  • Domestic Distributor: Overture
  • Cast: Diane Keaton, Ted Danson, Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah

Box Office Info:
Budget: $22 million Financed by: Millennium Films
Domestic Box Office: $20,668,843 Overseas Box Office: $5,743,320

Mad Money was in active development at MGM back in 2004, with Callie Khouri set to direct and Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes attached as the leads.  When Sony acquired MGM in late 2004, the project was dropped by the new management.  Years later Mad Money landed a new home at the former house of low budget schlock Millennium Films, with the same solid cast and director.  Millennium was making the transition from low budget direct to video action and genre schlock to bigger budget projects with A-list casts.  Their first slate of mid to large budget fare were all money losers and with the exception of 16 Blocks, were all serious critical failures — The Black Dahlia88 MinutesThe Wicker Man, Edison and The ContractMad Money would be a lower risk title for Millennium and sport a $22 million price tag, though it would ultimately join that group of critical and box office losers.  Millennium would offset some of their exposure to the budget through pre-sales.

Prior to the sale of MGM, Chris McGurk was vice chairman of the studio and was one of the executives involved in the development of Mad Money and in February 2007 he began the formation of a new distribution company Overture Films.  When he was informed by Callie Khouri that the movie was in need of a domestic distributor, he brokered a $6 million deal with Millennium for domestic rights and Mad Money would be Overture’s first released picture.  Overture was owned by cable giant Starz and turned out to be very short lived and Starz sold it off in 2010 after a series of box office misfires.

Mad Money was dated for January 18, 2008 as counter-programming to Cloverfield and just two weeks before the release date, FOX announced they were pushing their movie 27 Dresses back one week to the 18th — which would directly compete for the same female audience.  Not helping Mad Money‘s appeal was a trailer that looked like a cheap straight to video release, coupled with poor reviews.  It pulled in a very soft $7,736,452 — placing #6 for the weekend led by CloverfieldMad Money declined 40.8% to $4,578,394 in its second frame and sank 56.8% to $1,975,628 in its third session.  The domestic run closed with a poor $20,668,843.  Overture was not one of the major studios which can command 55% of the theatrical receipts and saw back less than $10 million after theaters take their cut of the ticket price.  This would not cover their P&A expenses or their modest $6 million acquisition fee — though after ancillary sales are factored in, Overture probably came close to breaking even.  Despite the low box office gross, Lifetime channel paid $4 million for the broadcast rights.

Mad Money was dumped overseas by most distributors that picked up this lousy greed comedy and the offshore cume was $5.7 million across many distributors.  It was dumped straight to video in the UK, Germany, Italy and most smaller markets.

Pointless Trivia: Apparently Katie Holmes walked away from her role in The Dark Knight to star in Mad Money.

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