The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
- Directed By: Guy Ritchie
- Written By: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
- Release Date: August 14, 2015
- Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
- Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $84 million||Financed by: Warner Bros; RatPac|
|Domestic Box Office: $45,445,109||Overseas Box Office: $64,400,000|
John Davis acquired the rights to the 1964 TV Series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. from Ted Turner on August 10, 1993 — which was four days after The Fugitive (also based on a 1963 series) opened to big business. Numerous scripts, directors and actors were attached over the years, but the closest the project came to materializing was when Steven Soderbergh signed onto The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in November 2010 with George Clooney as the lead. Soderbergh walked away in November 2011.
20 years after Davis picked up the rights, the project began to actively move forward with Guy Ritchie as director and Tom Cruise in the lead role. Cruise apparently did not want to have another spy role on his resume and eventually pulled out and was replaced by WB’s Superman star in grooming Henry Cavill. The budget for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was $84 million and financing came from WB and RatPac had a minority share in the production.
Originally set as a January release over the Martin Luther King Jr weekend, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was pushed back seven months to August 14, 2015 and Warner Bros scheduled the wide expansion of American Sniper on the MLK frame. Warner Bros gave The Man From U.N.C.L.E. an expensive marketing blitz, in hopes to franchise the property. WB spent over $31.34M in US television ads (as per iSpotTV) and millions more in print, online, radio, etc — in a domestic marketing blitz far north of $40 million. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. bowed against Straight Outta Compton and would see direct competition with the third weekend of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Even with the full weight of the WB marketing machine behind it, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was tracking for a soft high teens opening. It came in far below expectations with $13,421,036 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Straight Outta Compton. It fell 45.5% in its second frame to $7,317,374 and closed with a franchise killing $45,445,109.
Warner Bros released The Man From U.N.C.L.E. day-and-date in 43% of its overseas markets, where it pulled in a soft $12 million over its first weekend, including a majorly disappointing run in the UK with $2.26 million. The UK gross ended at $9.8 million and the offshore total stalled at $64.4 million. The worldwide cume was $109.8M. WB would see returned about $60.3M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover global P&A expenses. Warner Bros has taken a reported $50 million loss on the picture. Guy Ritchie’s next picture was King Arthur: Legend of the Sword for WB and that ended as one of the biggest bombs of all time.