Swing Vote

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  • Directed By: Joshua Michael Stern
  • Written By: Jason Richman, Joshua Michael Stern, David Giammarco
  • Release Date: August 1, 2008
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Kevin Costner, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane

Box Office Info:
Budget: $21.3 millionFinanced by: Kevin Costner
Domestic Gross: $16,289,867Overseas Gross: $1,344,446

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Swing Vote had been kicking around at the studios for years, but the project never materialized, so Kevin Costner financed the production himself.  The budget was initially set at $20 million, but went $1.3 million over.  One month into production, Disney purchased the US rights and Kathy Morgan International boarded to sell international rights.  After the sale to the mouse house and overseas distribution was sold off, Costner claimed he was $1 million in the black.  Great for Costner, but not for the numerous distributors that ponied up $22 million for the title.

Hoping to cash in from the fervor surrounding the 2008 presidential election, Disney dated this milquetoast political satire for August 1st as counter-programming to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.  Swing Vote was tracking soft, received mixed to poor reviews and tanked with $6,230,669 — placing #6 for the weekend led by holdover The Dark Knight.  Swing Vote declined 49.8% the following weekend to $3,125,290 and then collapsed 63.6% in its third frame to $1,137,385 and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with only $16,289,867.  Disney would see back about $9.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which wouldn’t even cover half of their P&A spend or their acquisition cost.

The Capra-esque American subject matter had little appeal stateside and would have practically none overseas.  Swing Vote saw a small theatrical rollout to just $1.3M and was dumped straight to video in most markets.

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