The Best Of Me

  • The Best Of Me box office
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  • Directed By: Michael Hoffman
  • Written By: Will Fetters, J. Mills Goodloe
  • Release Date: October 17, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: Relativity
  • Cast: Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey

Box Office Info:
Budget: $27.8 million Financed by: Relativity
Domestic Box Office: $26,766,213 Overseas Box Office: $9,160,000

The gross budget for The Best Of Me was $34,245,087 and after $6.4 million in tax rebates, the net budget was $27.8 million.  With foreign pre-sales, tax credits and other deals, Relativity had all but $5 million of the budget covered.

Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh used The Best of Me as their first model to build a movie around product placement and include the brand client into script meetings and involvement in development.  Evian water was the product.  Ryan Kavanaugh told Variety: “Evian is in the room with us, they’re in there when we’re developing our scripts for film and television, and they’re in there with us creating strategy for our other businesses. And that is completely unprecedented.”  It’s also incredibly ridiculous and it should come as no surprise that nine months later, Relativity entered chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Kavanaugh had also made his infamous and hilarious claim of having an algorithm to determine box office success — which we assume was as complex as ‘Nicholas Sparks + plastic bottles of water = money’.  Relativity managed to limit their risk to the budget, but perhaps more focus on making a better film than trying to sell water, would have saved this from being the lowest grossing Nicholas Sparks adaptation at the time of release.  And if you think that is a gag poster, just head over to the Relativity website.

The Best Of Me was dated for October 17 and bowed against Fury and The Book Of Life.  Relativity gave this stinker a strong marketing push and invested $15.1M into TV ads (as per iSpotTV) and after other P&A expenses, the costs were north of $25M.  Reviews were dreadful and it came in below expectations at $10,003,827 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Fury.  The Best Of Me sank 53.7% in its second frame to $4,623,519 and closed with a poor $26,766,213.  Relativity would see back about $14.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, less than their P&A spend and exposure to the budget.  The president of theatrical marketing at Relativity, Russell Schwartz was forced to resign shortly after this bombed.  

The Best of Me pulled in $9,160,000 overseas, across numerous distributors and it went straight to video in France and premiered on TV in Italy.  It’s unknown how many audience members were inspired to purchase some refreshing Evian.  In 2015 when Relativity began bankruptcy proceedings, The Best Of Me was one of ten films creditors and guilds SAG-AFTRA, DGA and WGAW were owed compensation from.

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