Big Miracle

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  • Directed By: Ken Kwapis
  • Written By: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
  • Release Date: February 3, 2012
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell

Box Office Info:
Budget: $40 million Financed by: Working Title
Domestic Box Office: $20,157,300 Overseas Box Office: $5,536,698

The screenplay for Big Miracle was picked up by Warner Bros in 2009 and the studio greenlit the film at a budget the filmmakers deemed too low.  The producers were able to use a clause in their contract to take the project over to Universal, which financed the picture through their Working Title division.  The budget for Big Miracle was $40 million.   It was dated as counter-programming for female auds over the Superbowl weekend and it opened against Chronicle and The Woman In Black.

Universal was high on the picture and scheduled numerous sneak screenings in the weeks leading to its release to help spread word of mouth.  Even with strong audience responses and a very expensive advertising campaign, tracking was soft and indicating a $10 million opening.  For additional exposure, Universal partnered with Burger King who tied the film into TV spots and had educational tie-ins at their locations.  Nothing shouts blockbuster like educational promotional material covered in grease and Big Miracle tanked with $7,760,205 — placing #4 for the weekend led by Chronicle.  The family film declined 49.2% to $3,946,050 in its second frame, which needed a slight drop to offset the poor opening numbers.  Big Miracle was likely hurt from the similarly themed Dolphin Tale that was released just a few months prior.  Big Miracle declined 42.6% in its third session and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with just $20,157,300.

Universal put the film out overseas, where it pulled in a mere $5.5 million, grossing under $1 million in every market.  The global cume was $25.6M and Universal would see returned about $14M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving tens of millions worth of marketing expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

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