Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time

  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time box office
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    [Total: 16 Average: 3.8]
  • Directed By: Mike Newell
  • Written By: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
  • Release Date: May 28, 2010
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley

Box Office Info:
Budget: $200 millionFinanced by: Disney
Domestic Gross: $90,759,676Overseas Gross: $245,606,000

prince of persia film
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer optioned the Prince of Persia theatrical rights to the video game property in March 2004 for seven figures.  Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time was fully financed by Disney with a huge $200 million price tag and Bruckheimer predicted this video game pic would spawn a new franchise as successful as The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Instead of a lucrative franchise, Disney took a massive unspecified write-down on Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time and it joined the ranks as one of the biggest flops of 2010.  Bruckheimer, who was no stranger to bloated budgets and huge box office rewards for more than 25 years — began a downward trend the year prior with the disposable mega-budget kiddie pic G-Force (2009) and then the expensive flops Prince of Persia, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Lone Ranger, which led to his contract not being renewed at the mouse house in 2013.

Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time was dated for the summer launching pad over the Memorial Day holiday frame on May 28, 2010 and Disney gave the expensive tentpole the full weight of their marketing machine.  The mouse house spent over $75M just on a domestic P&A blitz and launched a line of toys, Legos and costumes for this would-be blockbuster.  Disney also plastered ads in movie theaters in the top 30 markets, with aggressive advertising they dubbed “theater domination” — covering walls, staircases, ceilings, elevators and ticket machines with Prince of Persia promotions.

Reviews were mixed and Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time bowed against the female skewing Sex And The City 2 and it disappointed with $30,095,259 — placing #3 behind Shrek Forever After and Sex And The City 2.  It sank 53.4% in its second weekend to $14,019,131 and fell 53.7% in its third frame to $6,486,150.  The domestic run closed with a less than blockbuster $90,759,676.

Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time pulled in healthy numbers overseas with a $245.6 million gross, but it was not enough to pull the poor US numbers out of the red and the picture into profit.  The worldwide cume was $336.3 million.  Disney would see returned about $185 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would cover the massive global P&A spend, but the theatrical receipts left most of the budget in the red.  Disney and Bruckheimer had a tough time in 2010 with their other collaboration The Sorcerer’s Apprentice also ending in a write-down just a few weeks later.

2 Comments

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  1. Personally, I thought the film was very good, and pretty faithful to the game in all the ways they could replicate. Helps they didn’t adapt The Warrior Within.

    • Agreed. I actually liked it a lot too and I’ve seen it more times than I care to admit, although I wish they could’ve cast someone else as the princess and that they could’ve shown more of the traps (like the spikes in the floors, that kind of thing), but I really wish things worked out better for the film.

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