The Way Back
|Budget: $29 million||Financed by: Spitfire;Imagenation Abu Dhabi; National Geographic Entertainment; Polish Film Institute; Monolith Films|
|Domestic Gross: $2,701,859||Domestic Distributor: Newmarket Films/Wrekin Hill Entertainment|
|Overseas Gross: $17,646,390||
Directed by: Peter Weir
Produced by: Scott Rudin
The Way Back was co-financed by Imagenation Abu Dhabi and National Geographic Entertainment, which formed a $100 million fund for a series of movies that kicked off with The Way Back. Spitfire also financed and additional coin came from the Polish Film Institute and Monolith Films. The budget came in at $29 million. After the poor international box office numbers, Imagenation Abu Dhabi took a $12 million loss on The Way Back.
Spitfire’s parent company formed a distribution and sales company, Exclusive Film Distribution and The Way Back would be their first effort, which they pre-sold to many international distributors. No domestic distributor was attached as the film went into production and it had trouble landing a release in the US. No major label picked up the prestige picture and Spitfire’s parent company decided to distribute the movie themselves.
To handle the US release, Wrekin Hill Entertainment was formed and they co-distributed with Newmarket Films. They had ambitious plans for the film, but after an awards qualifying run and campaign that earned only a Best Makeup Oscar nomination and solid, but not great reviews, The Way Back opened with little interest from movie goers. The newly formed company put the film out in 678 theaters where it grossed a not very successful $1,218,868 and a per screen average of $1,798 killed its chance for an expansion. Showing terrible legs, The Way Back sank 57% in its second frame, making just $523,600 and the film closed with only $2,701,859. Large theater chains like Regal only pay out 34% of the ticket price to small distributors and the companies saw back just less than a million dollars from their first solo output. Their awards campaign was probably more expensive than what the box office returned to them, leaving the modest marketing spend entirely in the red.
The Way Back posted weak numbers overseas, grossing $17.6 million across numerous distributors and decent $7.1 million from France was the film’s most profitable territory. Newmarket Films has not distributed another picture after The Way Back.