|Budget: $57 million||Financed by: New Line; Royal Bank of Scotland|
|Domestic Gross: $33,479,698||Domestic Distributor: New Line|
|Overseas Gross: $10,405,206||
Directed by: Kent Alterman
Produced by: Toby Emmerich
Semi-Pro was financed by New Line for $57 million and this Will Ferrell vehicle received some capital from the Royal Bank of Scotland, which set up a $350 million fund with New Line in January 2007, that would invest in their slate of films. Will Ferrell followed his two sports themed smash hits Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and Blades Of Glory (2007) with Semi-Pro, which was expected to be an easy slam dunk for the struggling New Line.
Semi-Pro was dated for February 29, 2008 and in addition to a huge marketing spend by New Line, additional exposure came from Will Ferrell starring in commercials for Old Spice and Bud Light in his Semi-Pro character. Semi-Pro received mixed reviews that leaned negative and it bowed against The Other Boleyn Girl and Penelope. Tracking was pointing to a debut just north of $25 million.
The day before Semi-Pro‘s release New Line’s parent company Warner Bros, folded the corporate sibling into their operations, after years of New Line posting poor financial results. After 40 years, New Line came to an end and most of its 600 person staff was laid off, including New Line founder Bob Shaye. Semi-Pro was New Line’s final release and they would continue to operate in a limited capacity developing projects that would be released by WB.
After the darkest day in New Line’s history, Semi-Pro opened far below expectations at $15,075,114 — winning the slow weekend. The pic fell a steep 61.6% in its second weekend to $5,786,032 and bombed out of release with $33,479,698. About $18.3 million would be returned after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which wouldn’t even cover the P&A spend.
The movies’ box office success was dependent on the US market, as Will Ferrell was not much of a draw overseas and the film pulled in just $10.4 million outside of the US. $4.1 million came from the UK and $3.7 million from Australia and it went straight to video in major markets Germany and Russia.