Bullet to the Head

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  • Directed By: Walter Hill
  • Written By: Alessandro Camon
  • Release Date: February 1, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater

Box Office Info:
Budget: $38.8 million Financed by: Dark Castle Entertainment; IM Global
Domestic Box Office: $9,489,829 Overseas Box Office: $13,108,140

The gross budget for Bullet To The Head was $49,995,022 and after a large Louisiana tax credit of $11,141,782, the net budget was $38.8 million.  It was financed by Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment and IM Global — which handled pre-sales, which sold well to distributors, limiting their exposure to the budget.  Warner Bros handled domestic distribution, which was Joel Silver’s long standing studio home.  In 2012 WB severed their relationship with Joel Silver after a series of flops and Bullet to the Head would be one of the last films under their distribution arrangement.  WB had two remaining Dark Castle pictures left to distribute after Bullet — the long delayed The Factory, which was dumped straight to video and the turkey Getaway.  This project reunited Stallone and Joel Silver after their work on Demolition Man (1993) and Assassins (1995) and Silver and Walter Hill had collaborated on 48 Hours (1982) and The Warriors (1979).

The movie was originally scheduled for release on April 13, 2012 but Warner Bros removed it from their calendar and delayed it nearly a year for February 1, 2013.  After an expensive marketing spend, Stallone’s first solo staring vehicle outside of an established franchise in years, was tracking for an opening under $10 million.  Bullet To The Head bowed over the Superbowl weekend, which would have the attention of most of its core demo and WB’s reasoning behind the release date was that Taken raked in cash over the same frame in 2009.  Bullet would also be competing for scraps against the action pic Parker, which was released the weekend prior and also struggled at the box office.

The younger femme skewing pic Warm Bodies was the other wide opener and Bullet To The Head tanked with a terrible $4,548,201 in 2,404 theaters — opening numbers even worse than Schwarzenegger’s flop The Last Stand one month earlier.  The pic placed #6 for the weekend  led by Warm Bodies.  Bullet To The Head fell a steep 54.3% in its second weekend to $2,078,192 and promptly lost most of its theater count. The domestic run closed with only $9,489,829.  Warner Bros would see back about $5.2 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would barely dent the P&A expenses.

Overseas distributors that overpaid for this stinker, also saw terrible numbers.  The offshore cume was just $13.1 million.

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  1. I thought it didn’t get the money it deserved for pre-release promoting, after been retired from the video rental business with 3 stores with my biggest store doing a million plus a year I was a player at the Vegas video conventions for 10 years, Bullet at all the right elements except a deserving promotion budget. An audience has to be told that Bullet is the action movie they can’t miss, with movies like this hit my stores promoting a flick in store would make it a Hit because customers would ask what’s Hot this week and if Bullet came out while I still had my stores it would have been huge, like Resavore Dogs, all other stores went light on Dogs but I saw the screener and I knew that Dogs that only did a half a mill at the Box Office was going to be a smash hit so I went deep in copies and couldn’t keep it in for several weeks. There was many like this you just have to know a hit when you see it.

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