Cloud Atlas

  • Cloud Atlas box office
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    [Total: 40 Average: 3.6]
  • Directed By: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
  • Written By: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
  • Release Date: October 26, 2012
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving

Box Office Info:
Budget: $102 millionFinanced by: Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg; Filmstiftung NRW;
Dreams Of Dragon Pictures; Lilly and Lana Wachowski; Media Asia Group; Ascension Pictures
Domestic Box Office: $27,108,272Overseas Box Office: $103,374,596

“I made a movie that altered my entire consciousness – Cloud Atlas – I thought, jeez, this thing is so fab; it’s the only movie I’ve been in that I’ve seen more than twice. And it didn’t do any business.”
Tom Hanks


The budget for Cloud Atlas was $102 million and this expensive independently financed Wachowski/Tykwer directed collaboration, had its funding piecemealed from many sources.  Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg was the first to contribute with $2.1 million, followed by the German subsidy organization Filmstiftung NRW with $1.4 million.  The German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), offered a 16% rebate for the parts of the production based in Germany.  The Wachowski siblings invested $7 million of their own money into the film, when other money sources fell through.  Chinese company and distributor Dreams Of Dragon Pictures invested over $10 million.  Media Asia Group and Ascension Pictures were also backers.  Focus Features Intl. handled pre-sales, which padded out the remainder of the budget.

Warner Bros paid $15 million to distribute Cloud Atlas in the US and the UK, France, Spain, Australia, and Japan.  WB dated the pic in the US for October 26 against Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Fun Size and Chasing Mavericks.  WB invested into an expensive marketing campaign and primed the picture for a prestige IMAX release, but tracking was pointing to a soft $13 million opening weekend.  Cloud Atlas split the critics and this ambitious oddball project was commercially handicapped from its 2h 52min running time.

It came in below its modest expectations with $9,612,247 — placing #2 for the weekend led by Argo (also WB) in its third frame.  Audiences gave the non-linear Cloud Atlas a poor C+ cinemascore and it declined 44% the following session to $5,379,314 and fell 50.6% in its third frame to $2,658,250.  Cloud Atlas closed its domestic run with $27,108,272.  Warner Bros would see back about $14.9 million after theaters take their cut, leaving much of the P&A costs and the acquisition price in the red.

The film posted an ok $12.6 million in co-director Tykwer’s home country Germany.  Dreams Of Dragon Pictures handled the China release and saw a decent $27.7 million — even after the film was downloaded millions of times online in China after the uncensored version that played everywhere else in the world was leaked.

With a worldwide gross of $130.4 million on a $102 million budget, Cloud Atlas certainly posted poor numbers for a budget that size, but with so many entities investing, the risk was pooled across all of them and some came out ahead and others did not recoup.

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