Dead Man Down

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  • Directed By: Niels Arden Oplev
  • Written By: J.H. Wyman
  • Release Date: March 8, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: FilmDistrict
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard

Box Office Info:
Budget: $30 millionFinanced by: IM Global; WWE
Domestic Gross: $10,895,295Overseas Gross: $7,179,244

dead man down 2013
The budget for Dead Man Down was $30 million and IM Global and WWE financed this revenge picture starring box office poison Colin Farrell.  Along with co-financing, WWE promoted Dead Man Down throughout its many platforms and network.  IM Global sent out PR saying, “We’re incredibly excited at the classy cast that Niels and the producers have put together.  We’re going to make a sleek, stylish international thriller that’s worthy of all the great talent involved. We’re also delighted to have WWE Studios on board not only as our co-financing partner, but also as an integrated media company that can provide invaluable marketing support for the picture around the world.”  This is the first and probably the last time the word “classy” and “WWE” have been used together.  WWE and a classy revenge thriller, go together like Colin Farrell and huge box office numbers.  After this bombed worldwide, no overages would flow back to WWE and in their quarterly investor financial report (page 8), WWE took a $4.7 million write-down on Dead Man Down.

IM Global handled pre-sales for the picture and FilmDistrict acquired US rights, with their P&A spend backstopped by the financiers.  Dead Man Down was first dated for April 5, but pushed forward to March 8 as counter-programming to Oz The Great and Powerful.  Reviews were mostly awful and tracking was soft and indicated an opening in the high single digits.

Dead Man Down came in on the low end of expectations and pulled in just $5,345,250 which was the third 2013 action disaster at the box office after Bullet To The Head and The Last Stand.  It placed #4 for the frame led by Oz.  Dead Man Down sank 60.2% in its second frame to $2,126,029 and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with only $10,895,295 — returning about $5.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving most of the P&A spend in the red.

The offshore cume was a small $7,179,244 across numerous distributors and Dead Man Down was a huge step backward for the in demand director Niels Arden Oplev, coming off the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Dead Man Down grossed a terrible $37,211 in his home country Denmark and the film went straight to video in Sweden, where Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was produced.

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