Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

  • Legends Of Oz: Dorothy's Return box office
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  • Directed By: Will Finn, Dan St. Pierre
  • Written By: Randi Barnes, Adam Balsam
  • Release Date: May 9, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: Clarius Entertainment/Freestyle Releasing
  • Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer

Box Office Info:
Budget: $70 millionFinanced by: Summertime Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $8,462,027Overseas Gross: $11,645,586

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
The budget for Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return was $70 million and Summertime Entertainment secured the financing through various means of unethical, but grey area legal fundraising — and Ryan and Roland Carroll who ran Summertime actually made a profit on one of the biggest flops of 2014.  The two brothers fundraised the budget, promising massive returns to individual donors and they projected that this miserable movie would have gross revenue between $720 million to $2.04 billion.  SEC filings show that there were 1,014 individual investors who bought that snake oil pitch from the Carrolls and then many of these people posted rants that the studios conspired together to destroy the movie.  It took a thousand idiots to fund one lousy movie and then the Carrolls pocketed $15 million of that idiot money as their fee.  For a more detailed write-up of their shady shenanigans, see this article from The Wrap.

In 2013, Hyde Park International took on worldwide sales duties.  New distributor Clarius Entertainment, which had a terrible 2014, picked up domestic distribution from the questionable Summertime and Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return would be their first film out of the gate.

Clarius dated the pic for May 9, where it would bow against Neighbors and Moms’ Night Out and compete for auds with Rio 2 in its 5th week in release.  Clarius partnered with rent-a-distributor Freestyle Releasing for distribution logistics and booking.  Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return received awful reviews and was tracking for about a $12 million opening weekend, but bombed with $3,747,780 in 2,658 theaters — placing #8 for weekend led by Neighbors.  It declined 47.8% in its second frame to $1,957,456 and promptly lost most of its screen count.  The domestic run closed with only $8,462,027.  With new startup distributor Clarius receiving a small percentage of the ticket price (Regal pays out only 34% to independent distributors, for example) they didn’t see more than $3.5 million in returns — which leaves most of their P&A spend as a loss.

Overseas the film pulled in a poor $11.6 million across numerous distributors and it was dumped straight to video in Germany.

This was Summertime Entertainment’s first and last project.  Clarius released And So It Goes two months later, which did poorly and Before I Go To Sleep was a wipeout in October and they quickly ran out of funds and relabeled themselves Aviron Pictures in 2015 — and then released the picture My All American — which tanked.

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  1. I remember seeing trailers for this film and everything about it screamed cheap direct-to-video quality being released to theaters despite its reported massive budget of $70 million and the huge amount of well-known actors in the cast.

    The dubious and questionable history of how the film’s creators managed to get investors to fund the film is more interesting than the actual film itself, though.

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