- Directed By: Robert Redford
- Written By: James D. Solomon
- Release Date: April 15, 2011
- Domestic Distributor: American Film Co. (through Roadside and Lionsgate)
- Cast: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: American Film Co.|
|Domestic Gross: $11,538,204||Overseas Gross: $4,369,207|
James D. Solomon began working on The Conspirator screenplay in 1993, but it took until 2008 to get optioned and finally land a greenlight. This was the first movie financed by billionaire Joe Ricketts’ American Film Co. for $25 million and this Robert Redford directed picture lost the right-wing oligarch most of his investment. The Conspirator premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and landed US distribution with Roadside and Lionsgate. Ricketts also brokered a deal with the distributors, where his company would provide the majority of the marketing costs for higher returns on the film. Roadside, which is partially owned by Lionsgate had little risk on the The Conspirator.
The Conspirator was dated for April 15, 2011 and bowed against Rio and Scream 4. To get additional exposure, Ricketts (who owns the Cubs) had Redford throw the first pitch at the Cubs opening day game to promote the movie. The Cubs lost that game and it’s doubtful that stunt sold any additional tickets. Reviews were mixed and unenthusiastic, which did not help its limited commercial appeal and it was booked only moderately wide in 707 theaters.
The Conspirator pulled in $3,506,602 with a mediocre per screen average of $4,960. It expanded to 849 screens in its second frame but declined 37.6% to $2,187,185 and never broke out, closing with only $11,538,204 at the US box office. Roadside and Ricketts’ company would see back about $6.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave plenty of the marketing in the red and the entire budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.
The American history theme wouldn’t translate to good overseas business and it pulled in just $4.3 million from the rest of the world. The movie went straight to video in France and a handful of smaller markets.