Shanghai

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  • Directed By: Mikael Håfström
  • Written By: Hossein Amini
  • Release Date: October 2, 2015
  • Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company
  • Cast: John Cusack, Li Gong, Chow Yun-Fat

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 millionFinanced by: The Weinstein Company
Domestic Box Office: $46,425Overseas Box Office: $15,255,668

shanghai cusack

The endlessly delayed Shanghai, finally has its delay end.  If you were wondering if John Cusack had discovered the world’s greatest anti-aging lotion, that would be from Shanghai being filmed back in 2008 — which was to be a ‘company defining project’ for The Weinstein Company, like The English Patient was to Miramax.  Instead it languished on the shelf since 2008 and given a VOD and token theatrical release in 103 theaters seven years later.  

Back in 2007 Goldman Sachs set up a $285 million Asian Film Fund for TWC and The Weinstein Company set up Shanghai as their first production — a project the Weinsteins took with them from their Miramax days.  Shanghai was off to a shaky start when China banned the production from filming after not approving elements of the script and $3 million worth of already built sets had to be abandoned.  After relocating the production to London and Thailand the budget for Shanghai soared from $22 million to $50 million.  After completion, Shanghai was to have a Christmas 2008 release, which was pushed back to September 2009 and then pulled from the calendar indefinitely.

The film saw a delayed 2010 release in most Asian markets, where it grossed $6.7 million from China and $5.1 million from Japan.  As the years passed, Shanghai saw a few theatrical releases that took in mostly minuscule numbers and the overseas total had accumulated $15,255,668 across numerous distributors.  In a Hollywood Reporter article, Harvey Weinstein said that unnamed 3rd party investors that helped cover the cost overages fought over rights and set an embargo over the North American release, causing the delay.  Judging from the poor reviews and Weinstein’s knack for losing interest in projects he once obsessed over, take that with a grain of salt.

For its belated domestic release, Shanghai was booked into 103 empty theaters, where it pulled in a miserable $7,700 on its first Friday with a pitiful $75 per screen average, which amounts to no more than an average of two people per showing.  The opening weekend numbers totaled a minuscule $26,604 with a $258 per screen average.  Shanghai was pulled out of all but 11 theaters going into its second weekend of release and sank 90.8% to $2,443.  The film was pulled from release after its second week with a total of $46,425.

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