The Thing

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  • Directed By: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
  • Written By: Eric Heisserer
  • Release Date: October 14, 2011
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen

Box Office Info:
Budget: $38 millionFinanced by: Universal; Morgan Creek; Strike Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $16,928,670Overseas Box Office: $14,576,617


Universal began development on this prequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Thing (1982) in 2006.  The project began to actively move forward in 2009 with Universal co-financing with Strike Entertainment.  The budget for The Thing was $38 million.   An April 2011 release was planned, but Universal sent the production back for extensive reshoots and the movie was pulled from the studio’s calendar.  Along with the pricey reshoots, the studio inexplicably mandated that CGI be added to and in some cases completely replace the existing practical creature effects.  The Thing was eventually dated for the pre-halloween frame on October 14, 2011.

One month before the picture opened, Universal brought in Morgan Creek to co-finance and split international distribution expenses.  The Thing bowed against Footloose and The Big Year and reviews were mixed.  Universal did invest into a sizable marketing push and even added a The Thing maze to their Halloween Horror Nights at their theme park to promote the film.  Tracking was pointing to a low double digit opening, but it pulled in a poor $8,493,665 — placing #3 for the weekend led by the holdover Real Steel.  The following weekend saw the release of Paranormal Activity 3 and The Thing sank 63.9% to $3,069,875 and it quickly burned out with just $16,928,670 after only five weeks in release.

Overseas the film fared worse totaling just $14.5 million.  The worldwide cume was $31.5 million and Universal and Morgan Creek would see returned about $17.3M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — far below the P&A expenses and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.

Morgan Creek had only two films released in 2011 after three years of suspending film production, the other being the flop Dream House (which was released three weeks earlier) and Morgan Creek did not put another film back into production until All Eyez On Me (2017).

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