Mortdecai

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  • Directed By: David Koepp
  • Written By: Eric Aronson
  • Release Date: January 23, 2015
  • Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor

Box Office Info:
Budget: $60 millionFinanced by: Lionsgate; Oddlot Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $7,696,134Overseas Box Office: $39,579,561


The budget for Mortdecai was $60 million and it was co-financed by Lionsgate and Oddlot Entertainment.  Lionsgate sold the picture at the 2013 American Film Market and screened some footage for distributors and it sold out worldwide.  Lionsgate saw great success selling garbage at the 2013 AFM, as they also sold out every territory for Gods Of Egypt and they handled sales for Point Break, which was the biggest success at AFM.  The pre-sales reduced Lionsgate’s exposure to the budget to about $13 million, which was their usual financing model.  The Johnny Depp vehicle was envisioned as a potential new series for the franchise hungry Lionsgate.  Mortdecai was originally dated for February 6, but Lionsgate pushed it forward two weeks to January 23, when Jupiter Ascending got rescheduled for that date.

The mini-studio launched an unfocused marketing campaign that was a showcase of silly slapstick that looked designed for children, but was actually a R rated film.  Promotional material involving mustaches, did not help the oddball lack of appeal either.  This was a movie designed for nobody.  Mortdecai was tracking poorly going into release and opened against The Boy Next Door and Strange Magic and was dead on arrival with $4,200,586 — placing #9 for the weekend led by holdover American Sniper.  Audiences did not like Mortdecai any more than critics and gave it a poor C+ cinemascore and the film sank 65.7% in its second weekend to $1,439,268.  It was yanked from all but 253 theaters going into its third frame, which posted the 5th biggest theater count drop on record, losing 2,395 locations and it declined 90.4% to $138,508.  The domestic run closed after only four weeks with $7,696,134.  Lionsgate would see returned about $4.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which barely puts a dent in their P&A expenses.

The international star saw his star wattage dim with the movie posting poor numbers in most markets, accumulating $39,579,561 across numerous distributors.  In a move that makes even less sense than its mustache centric promotional material, Lionsgate cut the film down to a PG-13 rating for its video on demand release — as if kids would actually want to watch this and/or have any trouble watching a R rated movie on cable.  Fail.

Lionsgate struck out in 2015 attempting to build new franchises, with Child 44, American Ultra and The Last Witch Hunter all posting poor numbers at the box office.

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