Man On A Ledge

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  • Directed By: Asger Leth
  • Written By: Pablo F. Fenjves
  • Release Date: January 27, 2012
  • Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate/Summit
  • Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris

Box Office Info:
Budget: $42 million Financed by: Summit
Domestic Box Office: $18,620,000 Overseas Box Office: $27,601,189

The Man On A Ledge screenplay by Pablo F. Fenjves (known for taking a payday to ghost write O.J. Simpson’s grotesque book If I Did It) was first optioned by MGM in 2002.  The project never materialized and after the lion was purchased by Sony, Fenjves and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura were able to purchase back the rights after five years due to a WGA clause in his contract.  Di Bonaventura then set the movie up at Paramount Vantage, but three months later Paramount shuttered the specialty division and the project was dead again.

Man On A Ledge then briefly moved over to Bob Yari Productions with John Travolta attached, but once again the picture failed to make it before the cameras.  Yari was sued for $1.36M by UK distributor Momentum Pictures for failing to produce the movie and the company then refused to distribute Yari’s film Resurrecting The Champ.  You can read that court filing here.

The next home was Summit, which finally greenlit the picture and financed.  The budget for Man On A Ledge was $42 million and after tax rebates and foreign pre-sales, all but $8.5 million of the expenses were covered for Summit.

Man On A Ledge was first dated for January 13, 2012 and then was bumped two weeks to January 27.  Two weeks prior to the release of Man On A Ledge, Lionsgate purchased Summit, which had their movie One For The Money scheduled on the same date.  It was too late to push back the release date for either film, as both had an expensive marketing campaign well underway.  Both movies were tracking poorly as the release approached.

In a last minute effort to attract audiences, Summit offered buy one get one free packages through online coupon reseller Livingsocial and Lionsgate offered the same package through Groupon for One For The Money.  Along with One For The Money, Man On A Ledge opened against The Grey — which would also be competing for older male auds.  Man On A Ledge received mixed to poor reviews and came within its low expectations at $8,001,932 — placing #5 for the weekend led by The Grey.  The film declined 45.6% in its second weekend to $4,351,036 and sank 70.1% in its third frame to $1,301,222 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed after only five weeks with $18,620,000.  After theaters take their percentage of the gross, Lionsgate would see returned about $10.2 million, which would leave at least 2/3 of their P&A expenses in the red.

With most of the budget covered through pre-sales, overseas distributors overpaid for the property, which brought in poor numbers from most markets.  The offshore cume stalled at $27.6 million.

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