White House Down

  • White House Down box office
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  • Directed By: Roland Emmerich
  • Written By: James Vanderbilt
  • Release Date: June 28, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony
  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Box Office Info:
Budget: $150 millionFinanced by: Sony
Domestic Gross: $73,103,784Overseas Gross: $132,262,953

white house down 2013
Sony began development on White House Down in 2012, when they purchased the spec script from James Vanderbilt for a huge $3 million — which was basically Die Hard meets every other action movie since the 1980s.   The budget for White House Down $150 million and Sony financed the expensive tentpole.  In the Wikileaks hacked emails, Sony listed the loss from White House Down in the financial quarter at $35 million.  The box office failure of this film hopefully put a kibosh on how many more times Roland Emmerich can lay waste to the white house.

Two weeks before the Sony spec sale on White House Down, another spec with the same premise sold to Millennium, which became the rival project Olympus Has Fallen.    The writers must have used the same automated software writing program.  Sony first dated White House Down for November 1, but moved it forward to June 28, to try to beat Olympus Has Fallen to theaters, but FilmDistrict rushed Olympus out the gate on March 22.  Olympus turned into a surprise hit — turning White House Down into expensive sloppy seconds.

Sony heavily marketed White House Down and according to released documents from wikileaks, the studio spent $55.055 million on a domestic marketing blitz.  White House Down bowed against the action comedy The Heat and there was a glut of action fare already in release that was targeting similar demos: World War Z, Fast And Furious 6 and Man Of Steel.

White House Down was tracking for an opening in the low-thirty millions, but came in below expectations with $24,852,258 — placing #4 for the weekend led by Monsters University.  The Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx vehicle declined 45.8% the following weekend to $13,478,486 and then sank 54.3% in its third session to $6,162,633.  White House Down continued to post large weekly declines and ended its disappointing run with a less than blockbuster $73,103,784.

Overseas numbers were $132,262,953, not nearly enough to push the movie out of the red.  The worldwide cume was $205.3M and Sony would see returned about $112.9M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would probably cover the global P&A spend, but the theatrical receipts would barely dent the budget.

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