Million Dollar Arm

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  • Directed By: Craig Gillespie
  • Written By: Tom McCarthy
  • Release Date: May 16, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Jon Hamm, Pitobash, Suraj Sharma

Box Office Info:
Budget: $25 millionFinanced by: Disney
Domestic Gross: $36,457,627Overseas Gross: $2,769,953

million dollar arm 2014
The budget for Million Dollar Arm was $25 million.   With the new Disney model of releasing fewer films, but with colossal budgets looking for colossal returns, Disney decided to fund this mid-budget production they call ‘brand deposits.’  Films smaller in scale that retain a certain Disney quality that makes audiences appreciate the Disney label.  Disney studio Chairman Alan Horn said the test screenings for Million Dollar Arm scored higher than any film he tested at both Disney and his 12 year tenure at Warner Bros.

The picture was dated for May 16, 2014 and to spread positive word of mouth, the mouse house gave the movie a nation wide sneak preview the Saturday before its release, but attendance was light and Million Dollar Arm was tracking for a modest $10M – $12M bow.  It was booked as counter-programming to Godzilla, landed mixed reviews and pulled in a soft $10,515,659 — placing #4 for the weekend.  It fell a modest 33.7% to $6,968,980 in its second weekend and continued with respectable weekly declines, but closed its domestic run with a disappointing $36,457,627.

Since the domestic gross could a baseball themed picture into profit, there was practically no path to profitability in the international market.  Million Dollar Arm pulled in only $2.7 million in overseas grosses for Disney and even with part of the movie filmed in India and geared toward the Indian market, it managed only $492,240 in the country.  The worldwide total was $39.2 million, leaving Disney with about $21.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which falls tens of millions short of Disney’s P&A spend and leaves the budget in the red.

After completing his for hire work on this project, director Craig Gillespie was signed by the mouse house to helm the big budget production of The Finest Hours (2016), which ended as a massive $75M write-down.

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