Gold

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  • Directed By: Stephen Gaghan
  • Written By: Patrick Massett, John Zinman
  • Release Date: December 30, 2016
  • Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company
  • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard

Box Office Info:
Budget: $30 millionFinanced by: Black Bear Pictures
Domestic Gross: $7,227,038Overseas Gross: $7,653,901


The screenplay for Gold got the attention of director Michael Mann in 2011, who became attached to the project and Christian Bale was also circling the lead role.  Mann eventually dropped out to helm the box office disaster Blackhat and Bale left to sign onto the flop Out Of The Furnace.  Spike Lee was briefly attached to helm to the picture after Mann moved on, but Lee also left and Stephen Gaghan then signed on.  After numerous false starts from multiple projects over the years, Gaghan had not directed a movie since Syriana (2005).

The budget for Gold was an estimated $30 million, which was fully financed by Black Bear Pictures and Sierra/Affinity handled pre-sales.  Sales kicked off at the European Film Market in Berlin in February 2015 and it sold out nearly worldwide.  CAA sold the domestic rights and the hot property sparked a bidding war amongst distributors and Gold landed an incredible deal at The Weinstein Company.  As the deal was being inked, Black Bear and TWC had their previous collaboration The Imitation Game still in release and was pulling in fantastic box office numbers.  TWC acquired Gold for $15 million with a minimum $20 million P&A guarantee for a wide release.

Gold was expected to be a major awards player for TWC, especially pushing a hilariously grotesque looking Matthew McConaughey for accolades and it was first dated for a wide release on Christmas day.  As the holiday frame became increasingly crowded with other adult fare, Gold was then scheduled to have a limited awards qualifying run on December 30.  TWC positioned the pic to open wide on January 27, a date which they considered the best of both worlds, as it was clear of the saturated 2016 holiday market and it would open just three days after the Oscar nominations would be announced.  Any award buzz the picture might have had, was immediately erased when it was met with mixed to poor reviews from critics.

Gold bowed against A Dog’s Purpose and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and had direct competition from the glut of adult skewing awards fare that it was originally moved away from.  Gold was tracking very poorly with an opening projection between $4 – $5 million.  It was booked into 2,166 theaters and was dead on arrival with $3,471,316 — placing #10 for the weekend led by holdover Split.  It marked Matthew McConaughey’s lowest wide release opening in his career and his third 2016 flop after Free State Of Jones and The Sea Of Trees.  Gold took a 60.4% second weekend plunge to $1,375,240 and then promptly lost most of its theater count. The domestic run closed with just $7,227,038.  TWC would see returned about $3.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving most of the P&A spend and the acquisition cost in the red.

After the awful domestic run, overseas distributors that overpaid for the picture dumped it.  The recorded offshore cume was just $7.6 million.

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