- Directed By: Stephen Frears
- Written By: Christopher Hampton
- Release Date: June 26, 2009
- Domestic Distributor: Miramax
- Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Rupert Friend, Felicity Jones
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $23 million||Financed by: Pathé; Miramax; Canal+; Ile de France Film Commission; UK Film Council; Aramid Entertainment; NRW; DFFF|
|Domestic Gross: $2,715,657||Overseas Gross: $6,650,570|
Director Stephen Frears signed onto Chéri in late 2007 and the project quickly moved forward at France based Pathé. Chéri generated a lot of heat and interest from distributors and financiers, since Frears was just coming off the critical and box office success of The Queen (2006) and this picture would also reunite Frears with Michelle Pfeiffer and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, who all worked on Dangerous Liaisons (1988).
Chéri was budgeted at $23 million and Pathé arranged the complicated financing, which was piecemealed from many international companies, government funds and pre-sales to distributors. Pathé partnered with Miramax to invest into the movie and handle US distribution, which was the same arrangement both companies had on The Queen. Miramax contributed $7.5M. Pathé also invested and as per their usual financing model, they pre-sold the first-run TV rights to Canal+ which took an equity stake in the movie. The Ile de France Film Commission contributed $234,000. The UK Film Council invested $1.63M and after Chéri was a global non-performer, the Council announced they lost their entire $1.63M. UK based debt financier Aramid Entertainment contributed coin. 19 days filming were scheduled at the German based MMC Studios, which allowed the production to tap both German film funds NRW and DFFF, both of which gave low seven figure investments. And Pathé took the project to the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for pre-sales, which sold well and rounded out the funding.
Chéri premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2009 and landed a lukewarm response from critics. France and the UK were the first two major markets to release the picture and it grossed a dismal $673,008 in the UK and Pathé saw only $1.3M from the run in France. The international run cumed just $6.6M across many distributors.
Miramax dated Chéri for June 26, 2009 as a limited release. They booked the pic into 76 theaters and it pulled in $405,701 with a not very promising $5,338 per screen average. Chéri was expanded into 140 locations the following weekend with diminishing returns at $388,994. It never expanded beyond 191 theaters and closed with $2,715,657. After a terrible year at the box office, Disney shuttered their corporate sibling Miramax at the end of 2009 and the remaining movies in their pipeline were either sold off or distributed by Disney while sporting the Miramax label.