Land Of The Lost
- Directed By: Brad Silberling
- Written By: Chris Henchy, Dennis McNicholas
- Release Date: June 5, 2009
- Domestic Distributor: Universal
- Cast: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $100 million||Financed by: Universal; Relativity|
|Domestic Gross: $49,438,370||Overseas Gross: $19,339,184|
“Land of the Lost was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it.” “Land of the Lost was a huge loss. We Misfired. We were wrong.”
-Ron Meyer, Universal Studios President
Universal acquired the rights to the 1973 TV series Land Of The Lost in April 2005 as a vehicle for Will Ferrell. The project was envisioned as an event picture with a budget of at least $125 million, but after Universal’s box office fiasco Evan Almighty went so far over budget, the studio trimmed Land of the Lost‘s expenses down to $100 million. It received a greenlight in October 2007. Relativity Media had a slate financing arrangement with Universal and co-financed.
Universal dated their expensive tentpole for June 5, 2009 and partnered with Subway, Marriott, Land O’Frost lunchmeats and Pop Rocks, where the companies would throw away $30 million to tie in their products to promote this turkey. On top of that $30M in exposure, Universal invested in a pricey marketing spend and awareness was high for Land Of The Lost. Tracking was pointing to a $30M+ opening, even as dreadful reviews began to post.
Land of the Lost bowed against The Hangover and it came in way below expectations with $18,837,350 — placing #3 for the weekend, miles behind The Hangover and Pixar’s Up. Audiences were no kinder than critics and gave it a poor C+ cinemascore and Land Of The Lost sank 52.3% in its second weekend to $8,994,030. After steep weekly declines, the domestic run closed with just $49,438,370.
Land Of The Lost did miserable business overseas with only $19.3 million in receipts. Universal would see returned about $37.7 million of the worldwide gross after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving tens of millions worth of P&A costs in the red and the budget would not be touched from the theatrical receipts. Land of the Lost ended as a write-down of at least $80 million.
Universal Pictures Chairman Marc Shmuger was fired in October 2009, after a string of flops that included Land of the Lost, Duplicity, State of Play, Funny People and the out of control budgets for the as of yet to be released Robin Hood, The Wolfman and Green Zone.