Splice

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  • Directed By: Vincenzo Natali
  • Written By: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor
  • Release Date: June 4, 2010
  • Domestic Distributor: Dark Castle Entertainment (through Warner Bros)
  • Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac

Box Office Info:
Budget: $27 millionFinanced by: Gaumont; TeleFilm; OMDC
Domestic Gross: $17,010,170Overseas Gross: $9,847,289

splice 2010
Splice had a bumpy road to the big screen, which began development at Fox Atomic.  Instead of financing the movie, FOX’s legal department sent a cease and desist letter to the filmmakers claiming the creature was too close in design to the Na’vi designs in Avatar.  The project and the unchanged Dren creature moved over to France’s Gaumont for financing.  Splice was budgeted at $27 million and was majority financed through pre-sales, Canadian tax rebates and a $4 million investment from Gaumont.  Additional capital came from the Canadian TeleFilm and OMDC.

Senator Entertainment signed on as distributor in the US, Germany and Spain, only for their US distribution arm to go bankrupt when they released the trainwreck The Informers.  Splice went back onto the market.  The movie premiered at Sundance and a deal was in the works for a private investor to commit to a $20 million P&A spend through Sony’s distribution arm.  That deal never materialized and Gaumont became nervous about the picture landing domestic distribution and even toyed with the idea of selling the movie off to the SyFy Channel, just so most of their investment would be covered.

Splice was then rescued by Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment, which purchased the rights with a prints and advertising commitment of at least $35 million — which would be the largest acquisition in the festival’s history.  Dark Castle would distribute Splice in the US and use Warner Bros’ distribution arm for a fee.

Splice was dated for June 4, 2010 and bowed against Get Him To The Greek, Killers and Marmaduke.  Despite positive reviews, buzz was muted and Splice performed poorly opening weekend with $7,385,277 — placing #8 for the frame led by holdover Shrek Forever After.  Audiences gave the creature feature a rare and hateful D cinemascore and it sank 60.2% in its second session to $2,942,492 and continued to post huge weekly declines.  The domestic run closed with only $17,010,170.  Dark Castle would see back about $9.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Senator did release the film in Germany to only $1,046,697 and the film pulled in a terrible $9.8 million across numerous distributors overseas.

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