Inherent Vice

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  • Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Written By: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Release Date: December 12, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston

Box Office Info:
Budget: $20 millionFinanced by: Warner Bros; IAC Films; RatPac-Dune
Domestic Box Office: $8,110,975Overseas Box Office: $6,661,371


While promoting director Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous feature The Master, he announced his follow up project Inherent Vice, which Megan Ellison said she would finance, but after The Master pulled in poor numbers worldwide that lost most of her investment, she pulled out of the project.  The budget for Inherent Vice was $20 million and Warner Bros came in and co-financed with IAC Films and additional coin was provided by RatPac-Dune.   IAC is the media conglomerate which owns over 150 businesses (The Daily Beast, Ask.com, OkCupid, etc) and Top Five and Inherent Vice were the first two movies to receive financing from the company. 

The film was positioned as an end of the year awards player and bowed in limited release on December 12 in 5 theaters.  It pulled in $328,184 with a stellar $65,637 per screen average.  Inherent Vice remained in limited release for a month and amassed $1.4 million.

Warner Bros expanded the picture to 645 theaters in its 5th weekend, where it struggled and pulled in a soft $2,773,260 — placing #11 for the weekend led by Taken 3.  WB invested in a solid P&A spend to aid the expansion and spent $15.3 million in television ads (as per iSpotTV) and even with poor box office returns and barely a wide release, Warner Bros kept throwing money at more ads, bringing the national airings to well over $20 million in costs — plus millions more in print, online, radio, virtual print fees, etc.  The following weekend Inherent Vice added 8 theaters with diminishing returns, where it sank 59.2% to $1,130,388 which would kill off a further expansion.  Inherent Vice sputtered out of release with a poor $8,110,975.  Warner Bros would see returned about $4.4 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Overseas, the film pulled in PT Anderson’s lowest haul since Punch Drunk Love and grossed a mere $6.6 million.

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