R.I.P.D.

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  • Directed By: Robert Schwentke
  • Written By: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
  • Release Date: July 19, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker

Box Office Info:
Budget: $154 millionFinanced by: Universal
Domestic Gross: $33,618,855Overseas Gross: $44,705,365


Universal and Dark Horse Entertainment entered into a three year development deal in March 2008, where the comic book publisher would mine their catalogue of properties for the studio.  The deal was inked after both companies had a good experience mounting Hellboy II: The Golden Army and while numerous properties were developed, not a single movie was produced during those three years.  The only Dark Horse movie to emerge out of that development period was the colossal failure R.I.P.D. 

Universal financed and Deadline‘s sources informed the publication that the gross budget for R.I.P.D. was $184.1 million and after tax rebates, the net budget was $156 million.  Adding to the exorbitant costs, was just four months before it was set to be released on July 19, Universal spent millions on a conversion to 3D.  It’s hard to imagine a less appealing trailer and marketing material than this cheap looking Men in Black knockoff, starring a mouth full of marbles mumbling Jeff Bridges and a bored looking Ryan Reynolds.  R.I.P.D. was tracking poorly and Universal knew they had a complete creative misfire on their hands and reduced the marketing spend to cushion the blow.  Speaking about the movie, Jeff Bridges was quoted as saying “I was a little underwhelmed.”  Indeed.

R.I.P.D. bowed against The Conjuring, Turbo (featuring the voice of Ryan Reynolds) and Red 2 (pointless trivia: R.I.P.D. director Robert Schwentke helmed the first Red).  Universal did not screen this stinker for critics and it opened to a terrible $12,691,415 — placing #7 for the weekend led by The Conjuring.  Audiences gave R.I.P.D. a poor C+ cinemascore and it sank 52.2% in its second weekend to $6,070,525 and plummeted 60.3% in its third session to $2,409,855 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with just $33,618,855.

The picture did not fare much better offshore, with Universal releasing in most markets to just $44.7M.  The worldwide cume was $78.3M.  Universal would see returned about $43M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving at least $30M in global P&A expenses in the red and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.  Studio fare doesn’t misfire much worse than R.I.P.D. — which ended as loss of at least $140 million, making it one of the top 10 biggest box office disasters of all time.

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