Total Recall

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  • Directed By: Len Wiseman
  • Written By: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
  • Release Date: August 3, 2012
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston

Box Office Info:
Budget: $138 million Financed by: Sony
Domestic Gross: $58,877,969 Overseas Gross: $139,589,199

total recall 2012
In January 1997, the Total Recall rights (theatrical sequel, prequel and remake rights) were auctioned off at a bankruptcy court in Los Angeles, where the shuttered company Carolco were having its assets sold off.  Miramax won the Total Recall rights for $3.15 million.  A sequel was immediately put into development at Miramax’s sister company Dimension and after numerous screenplay drafts and development costs, a deal with Schwarzenegger was ultimately never reached and the project fell apart.  After the Weinsteins left Miramax in 2005, the Total Recall rights remained with their parent company Disney.

In early 2009, Sony acquired the rights from Miramax who had the option to co-finance with Sony and wisely Miramax did not.  The budget for Total Recall was $125 million and Sony ditched the bonkers Paul Verhoeven tone of the original 1990 picture and developed the remake as a family friendly assembly line tentpole, toplined by box office contagion Colin Farrell.

Sony dated Total Recall for August 3 and it bowed against Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.  Even with an expensive marketing blitz, Total Recall was tracking for a troubling debut between $25 – $30 million and was mostly dismissed as another pointless remake.

Reviews were mixed to poor and it opened on the low end of estimates with $25,577,758 — placing #2 behind The Dark Knight Rises in its third weekend in release.  Audiences gave the pic a terrible C+ cinemascore and Total Recall sank a huge 68.7% in its second frame to $8,013,040 — killing its chances at breaking out.  It fell 56.7% in its third session to $3,472,829 and closed its domestic run with a less than blockbuster $58,877,969.

Relying on the overseas market to carry the film after the disappointing US numbers, Total Recall did solid, but unspectacular business and not enough to lift the film out of the red.  It pulled in $139.5M offshore, with a worldwide total of $198.4M.  Sony would see returned about $105M after theaters take their cut — the film pulled in $17.9M from China, which would only pay out 25% of the gross to Sony.  The theatrical revenue would likely cover only the worldwide P&A costs and none of the budget.  In Sony’s financial quarter report, Sony cited the poor box office of Total Recall as the main contributor that ate into the profits of The Amazing Spider-Man.


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