The Devil's Double

  • The Devil's Double box office
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    [Total: 6 Average: 3.5]
  • Directed By: Lee Tamahori
  • Written By: Michael Thomas
  • Release Date: July 29, 2011
  • Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
  • Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi

Box Office Info:
Budget: $21 million Financed by: Corsan
Domestic Gross: $1,361,512 Overseas Gross: $4,366,701

The now bankrupt Belgian company Corsan, purchased the book rights to Latif Yahia’s “The Devil’s Double” and “I Was Saddam’s Son” in 2007.  Corsan head Paul Breuls was eventually arrested in 2017 after running the film company as a criminal enterprise.  Corsan was supposed to have a business model that involved funding through Belgian tax credits and also operate as a legal tax shelter for individual investors — but Breuls never gave investors their tax certificates and basically stole their money.

Lee Tamahori signed on as director, who wanted to return to his lower budgeted roots after helming two humiliating big budget disasters xXx: State of the Union and Next.  Corsan financed The Devil’s Double for $21 million and handled global sales.  The movie landed distribution in over 100 countries, which was the record for the most amount of sales for a movie coming from the Benelux.  Corsan premiered the picture at the January 2011 Sundance Film Festival for US distribution and Lionsgate and financing company Herrick Entertainment jointly purchased the rights between $2 million – $3 million.

Even with Yahia’s books long outed as mostly embellishment and the movie landing mixed reviews — Dominic Cooper’s dual performance was praised and the movie was entertaining lurid trash with commercial potential.  Lionsgate’s marketing material tried to sell the movie as a Scarface type picture, but the mini-major ultimately did not do much in the way of promoting the film and dumped it in limited release.

The Devil’s Double was booked into 5 theaters and pulled in $96,414 with a $19,283 per screen average.  It expanded the following weekend to 33 locations and made $198,436 with a disappointing $6,013 per screen average.  At its widest, The Devil’s Double was on only 89 screens and the domestic run closed with a mere $1,361,512.

Icon picked up Australian rights and Lee Tamahori’s home country New Zealand’s rights for six figures, but dumped the film straight to video after the picture was posting poor numbers in most markets.  The film earned $4.3 million overseas, across numerous distributors and $1.1 million of that small number was from the UK, also distributed by Icon.

After The Devil’s Double flopped worldwide Tamahori said: “Yeah, that was the first movie of mine that ever went straight to DVD. I found it quite amusing but that was Icon for you. I don’t blame them; they always waited for the American and the European releases to see what was going to happen. When the Americans released in summer [and the film didn’t do well] I think they looked to cut their losses. Can’t blame them; it’s a business decision but I thought it would at least get a show in one theatre somewhere. It’s not a bad film, but they didn’t have the courage of their convictions I guess.”

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