Machete Kills

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  • Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
  • Written By: Kyle Ward
  • Release Date: October 11, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: Open Road
  • Cast: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga

Box Office Info:
Budget: $20 million Financed by: Aldamisa Entertainment; AR Films; Demarest Films; Overnight Films
Domestic Box Office: $8,008,161 Overseas Box Office: $10,264,848

The budget for Machete Kills was $20 million, almost double the original picture’s $10.5M cost and the sequel managed to look nearly twice as cheap.  The project was bankrolled by Aldamisa Entertainment, AR Films, Demarest Films and Overnight Films.  Aldamisa handled international sales to distributors.  Machete Kills was filmed in Texas and the Texas Film Commission denied the picture a tax rebate, claiming the movie portrayed texans in a negative way — which would have provided a maximum $2 million tax credit.  That set off a series of lawsuits.

Overnight sued Robert Rodriguez’s company Quick Draw for $2 million in damages and claimed they would not have invested without the rebate, had they known.  Overnight unsuccessfully also tried to block the release of the movie and then sued the Texas Film Commission for discrimination.  Lawsuits continued when Robert Rodriguez sued Aldamisa for $7.7 million for non-payment from both Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  The suit was dropped when Aldamisa threatened to countersue for $50 million.

Open Road (owned by theater chains Regal and AMC) acquired US rights for an inexpensive $2 million from Aldamisa and committed over $20 million for P&A expenses.  Machete Kills was first dated for September 13, but then pushed back to October 4 and moved back again one week to the 11th, where it bowed against Captain Phillips.  Reviews were poor and it was tracking for a modest $8 million opening weekend.

Stunt casting involving troubled stars Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson acted as audience repellent and it was dead on arrival with $3,837,183 — placing #4 for the frame led by the holdover Gravity.  Even with the anemic opening numbers, Machete Kills was front loaded and fell a huge 68.6% in its second frame to $1,203,135 and plummeted 74.6% to $305,268 in its third session and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed after 5 weeks with only $8,008,161.

Overseas, the film played poorly with $10.2M in receipts across numerous distributors and it was dumped straight to video in Spain and Brazil.  Mel Gibson, who co-founded Icon decades earlier, had Icon distribute in Australia, where it made of all of $101,766.

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