Killer Elite

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  • Directed By: Gary McKendry
  • Written By: Matt Sherring
  • Release Date: September 23, 2011
  • Domestic Distributor: Open Road
  • Cast: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro

Box Office Info:
Budget: $66 millionFinanced by: Omnilab
Domestic Box Office: $25,124,966Overseas Box Office: $40,284,060


The budget for Killer Elite was $66 million and Omnilab financed and tapped Inferno to handle global pre-sales.   The project was introduced to buyers at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and sold well to distributors.  At Cannes in 2011, newly formed distributor Open Road Films (owned by theater chains AMC and Regal) acquired theatrical US rights, with reports that they paid nothing for the picture, but committed a minimum of $25 million for prints and advertising.  Killer Elite was Open Road’s first release.  Universal distributed on home video in the states.  After Killer Elite bombed, Omnilab took a $27.35 million loss mostly from the picture and also from the lower budgeted Tomorrow, When The War Began.

The marketing sold this generic action pic as a true story, since it was adapted from the ‘true’ book The Feather Men — but that novel had mostly been written off as embellished nonsense since the early 1990s and Killer Elite just looked like a one quadrant B movie appealing only to older male auds.  It bowed against Moneyball, Dolphin Tale and Abduction and landed mixed to poor reviews.

Killer Elite was booked into 2,986 theaters and pulled in $9,352,008 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the re-release of The Lion King in 3D.  It declined 47.4% in its second frame to $4,916,839 and sank 55.2% in its third session to $2,201,362.  The domestic run closed with just $25,124,966.  While Open Road would see the entire ticket price for the film playing in their theaters, the movie also played in other chains, so the new distributor was eight-figures deep in red ink from their P&A spend.

Overseas the picture took in $40.2 million, which was inline with standard Jason Statham fare, but his pictures usually cost half of Killer Elite‘s price tag.

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