Self/Less

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  • Directed By: Tarsem Singh
  • Written By: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor
  • Release Date: July 10, 2015
  • Domestic Distributor: Focus (Gramercy Pictures)
  • Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley

Box Office Info:
Budget: $26 millionFinanced by: Endgame Entertainment; FilmDistrict
Domestic Gross: $12,279,691Overseas Gross: $18,243,535


The gross budget for Self/less was $33,645,821 and after tax rebates the net costs were $26 million.  Endgame Entertainment and FilmDistrict financed.   Endgame and FilmDistrict quickly put this brain/less picture into development after the two companies saw box office and critical success with the superior high concept sci-fi film Looper.  FilmNation handled pre-sales to distributors, which kicked off at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and Self/less was the first film to completely sell out all markets at the festival.  The strong pre-sales limited the two financiers exposure to the budget.

FilmDistrict was set to distribute the film in the US, but the company shuttered and was absorbed into Universal’s Focus Features.  FilmDistrict had Self/less scheduled for a September 26, 2014 release, but Focus had the stop-motion animated Boxtrolls slated for that date and began to shuffle Self/less all over the calendar.  The pic was moved to February 2015 and then pushed to April 2015 and then late July and finally Focus positioned Self/less as counter-programming to Universal’s Minions on July 10.

Focus Features had been Universal’s specialty label that distributed less mainstream fare, but the studio had it rebranded in 2014 as more commercially friendly after a string of flops.  Focus then revived the dormant Gramercy Pictures label (last seen in 2002) for their upcoming slate of genre films — which began with Insidious Chapter 3 and Self/less was the second feature to sport the new label.

Self/less had little buzz and was tracking for a terrible $6 million to $8 million opening.  The cheap horror pic The Gallows also opened as counter-programming.  Reviews were awful and it came in below its low expectations with $5,403,460 — placing #8 for the weekend led by Minions.  The movie sank 58% the following weekend to $2,268,476 and promptly lost most of its theater count.  Self/Less ended its domestic run with just $12,279,69.  Focus would see returned about $6.7 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, far below their P&A spend.

The movie was a dud overseas for all of the distributors who overpaid for the movie during pre-sales and $2.9 million from France was the highest gross.  Self/Less pulled in less than a million in most markets and the overseas cume was $18,243,535 across many distributors.

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