Get On Up

  • get on up james brown box office
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  • Directed By: Tate Taylor
  • Written By: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
  • Release Date: August 1, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: Universal
  • Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd

Box Office Info:
Budget: $30 millionFinanced by: Universal
Domestic Gross: $30,703,100Overseas Gross: $2,767,897


Producer Brian Grazer was developing the James Brown biopic and began to move forward with the project in late 2006 with Spike Lee attached as director.  Universal put it into turnaround when the costs were estimated to be north of $70 million.  The rights to James Brown’s life story were eventually returned to the Brown family estate.  Years later, Mick Jagger was asked by a representative of the Brown family to produce a documentary on James Brown and instead he wanted to produce a feature and helped secure back the life rights and partnered with Grazer to get the biopic back into development.   The budget for Get On Up was slashed to a more manageable $30 million and Universal finally greenlit the picture.

The studio first dated the movie for October 17, 2014 and then pushed it forward to August 1, 2014 as adult summer counter-programming against Guardians of the Galaxy.  Get On Up was tracking for a modest opening and came within expectations at $13,585,915 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Guardians and Universal’s holdover Lucy.  Audiences gave the movie a great A cinemascore and with the positive audience response and an older crowd that showed up opening weekend, Get On Up was expected to have strong legs and play well over the upcoming weeks.  It ended up taking a second weekend nosedive 61.8% to $5,195,150 and then sank 62.5% to $1,949,295 in its third frame and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with a very disappointing $30,703,100.  Universal would see returned about $16.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover the P&A expenses and leave the budget in the red.

Universal gave Get On Up a fleeting overseas theatrical release, where it cumed a mere $2.7M.  France posted the bulk of the offshore total with $1M in receipts.

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