Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

  • Sin City: A Dame To Kill box office
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  • Directed By: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
  • Written By: Frank Miller
  • Release Date: August 22, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company (Dimension)
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin

Box Office Info:
Budget: $65 million Financed by: Aldamisa; Demarest Films; Kilburn Media; Solipist Films; Prime Focus
Domestic Box Office: $13,757,804 Overseas Box Office: $25,649,812

The budget for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was $65 million and this belated sequel to the 2005 box office hit had financing arranged by the Russian based Aldamisa and capital came from Demarest Films, Kilburn Media and Solipsist Film.  Aldamisa also handled international sales to distributors.   When co-director Robert Rodriguez finalized his funding, it was to secure enough cash only to get through filming, which doesn’t work very well when the entire movie was filmed in front of a green screen and the majority of expenses would be spent on vfx in literally every shot.  The footage shot sat on the shelf for a year, until VFX company Prime Focus got involved with this mess.

Prime Focus agreed to do the vfx for free, in return for equity in the film’s backend and they also invested $12.5 million into Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  This is the kind of deal that helped further push vfx companies Digital Domain and Rhythm & Hues into bankruptcy.  Taking on the effects work of Sin City 2 took most of Prime Focus’ internal resources and severely limited their ability to do other paid work.  In a deal that ultimately cost them tens of millions of dollars, Prime Focus felt the fallout of this box office bomb in the most damaging way.

The Weinstein Company took on domestic distribution at no cost and only had exposure to the P&A spend.  Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was dated for the end of summer dumping ground on August 22 and bowed against If I Stay and When the Game Stands Tall.  The sequel was tracking for an opening between $16 – $19 million and in a last minute effort to attract the core fanbase, TWC attached a teaser trailer for the upcoming Tarantino film Hateful 8.  

Reviews were poor and the window for a sequel to this property had closed years earlier — Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was dead on arrival with $6,317,683.  It placed #8 for the weekend led by Guardians of the Galaxy in its 4th frame.  Even after the dismal opening Sin City 2 proved to be front loaded and collapsed 64.8% in its second frame to $2,223,742.  It then sank 68.9% to $691,410 in its third session and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with only $13,757,804.  The Weinstein Company would see returned about $7.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which leaves well over $20M in P&A costs in the red.

The first Sin City took in $84.6 million overseas and audience interest waned in the 9 years between the films and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For stalled with a $25.6 million offshore cume across numerous distributors.

Robert Rodriguez ended up suing Aldamisa for nonpayment of $7.7 million on both Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and his 2013 flop Machete Kills, but dropped his lawsuit in 2015 when Aldamisa threatened to countersue for $50 million.

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