Labor Day

Budget: $18 million Financed by: Indian Paintbrush; Paramount
Domestic Gross: $13,371,528 Domestic Distributor: Paramount
Overseas Gross: $6,904,284
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Kate Winslet
Josh Brolin
Produced by: Steven M. Rales

Labor day box officeLabor Day was the first of two Jason Reitman misfires in 2014, the second being the lower budgeted box office turkey Men, Women & Children — both films co-financed by Indian Paintbrush and Paramount.  The budget for Labor Day was $18 million and it was originally scheduled to open on Christmas 2013 in a limited release, where it would expand over a few weekends.  In November, Paramount moved the pic to a wide release on January 31, 2014 as counter-programming over the Superbowl weekend targeting female auds.  Despite a solid marking push by Paramount, most of the marketing material was atrocious and months after this tanked, Jason Reitman criticized the sappy ad campaign and the trailers for not focusing on the perspective of the child.

The studio also partnered with the American Pie Council to promote National Pie Day through all marketing material (yes, you read that right), since the movie featured a sexy pie making scene.  After Paramount spent tens of millions on marketing to help convince the public that Labor Day was not worth watching, it was tracking for a soft $8 million weekend.  It bowed against That Awkward Moment and pulled in a poor $5,175,282 — placing #7 for the weekend led by holdovers Ride Along and Frozen.  Labor Day had a modest 38.5% second frame decline to $3,184,785 but sank 60.7% over its third weekend when Valentine’s Day openers Endless Love, Winter’s Tale and About Last Night opened and were courting similar auds.  It promptly lost most of its theater count and ended its domestic run with only $13,371,528.

Overseas, Labor Day was a dud with a $6.9 million cume, tanking in every market with $1.1 million from the UK as the highest gross and it went straight to video in Italy.  After theaters take their percentage of the gross, Paramount would see back about $11.1 million from the worldwide total — leaving much of the P&A spend in the red and the budget at a loss.

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