Robin Hood

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  • Directed By: Ridley Scott
  • Written By: Brian Helgeland
  • Release Date: May 14, 2010
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac

Box Office Info:
Budget: $198.8 million Financed by: Universal; Relativity
Domestic Gross: $105,269,730 Overseas Gross: $216,400,011

robin hood 2010
After Russell Crowe had read Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris’ spec script Nottingham, he attached himself to the lead role.  With Crowe’s commitment to the revisionist Robin Hood project, the spec went onto the market and landed in a bidding war from Universal, Regency, WB, DreamWorks and Sony.  It was announced on February 1, 2007 that Universal won the rights for a seven figure sum.  Crowe was signed for $20 million against 20% of the backend.

Nottingham was fast tracked to development and Ridley Scott brought on Brian Helgeland to rework the script.  In Aug 2008, shortly before production was set to begin, Universal put the project on hold since Scott and the studio were unhappy with the state of the screenplay.  The Nottingham script had Crowe as the Sheriff of Nottingham, who was the protagonist in this story and was on the trail of the criminal Robin Hood.  Nottingham was then completely reworked into a gritty Robin Hood tale and the studio wrote off $25 million from development on the abandoned version.

When Nottingham was shut down, Universal hired Crowe to replace Brad Pitt in State of Play to prevent that project from falling apart.  Robin Hood was the fifth collaboration between Scott and Crowe after the huge hit Gladiator (2000), the flop A Good Year (2006), the hit American Gangster (2007) and the box office disaster Body of Lies (2008).

Universal majority financed Robin Hood and Relativity Media co-financed.  An image of the budget was leaked to The Wrap.  The gross budget was a massive $236,778,380.  The production also received a 20% tax rebate from the UK off of 80% of the budget, which brought the net costs in at $198.8 million.

Universal Pictures Chairman Marc Shmuger was fired in October 2009, after a string of flops and the out of control budgets for the as of yet to be released Robin Hood, The Wolfman and Green Zone.

Robin Hood was dated for May 14, 2010 and it was Universal’s most expensive movie that year and they pulled out the full stops for a massive marketing campaign — including spending a reported $5 million to fly cast members and executives to Cannes where it was the opening night movie and had a ridiculously expensive after-party.  Robin Hood was tracking soft in the US but it was expected to perform well overseas and the Cannes launch was meant to build hype for the European release.  The movie was met with mixed reviews and much indifference.

Robin Hood bowed against counter-programmers Letters to Juliet and Just Wright and early estimates were expecting a $40M -$45M launch, but it disappointed with $36,063,385.  It placed #2 for the weekend behind Iron Man 2.  Robin Hood did not have strong holds and it declined 48% the following frame to $18,769,220 and it closed just after the century mark at $105,269,730.

Robin Hood was a solid performer overseas and pulled in $216.4M.  The worldwide total was $321.6M — a very respectable number, just not when the picture cost over $300M to make and market.  Universal would see returned about $176.8M after theaters take their percentage of the gross.  After ancillary sales are factored in, Robin Hood was a small loss for Universal.

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