Rules Don't Apply

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  • Directed By: Warren Beatty
  • Written By: Warren Beatty, Bo Goldman
  • Release Date: November 23, 2016
  • Domestic Distributor: New Regency (through FOX)
  • Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Warren Beatty, Lily Collins

Box Office Info:
Budget: $31.1 million Financed by: New Regency; Shangri-La Entertainment; RatPac-Dune;
Considered Entertainment; Robson Orr Entertainment; Windsor Media; John Angelo; Worldview Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $3,652,206 Overseas Gross: $233,136

Warren Beatty’s long in development Howard Hughes project was moving forward at Paramount, with co-financing from New Regency, but Paramount backed out in September 2011.  Morgan Creek stepped in to fill the financial vacancy left by Paramount, but they quickly dropped out after negotiations stalled to reduce the budget from $47 million to $42 million.  Morgan Creek also stopped development on all projects after their pricey disaster Dream House (2011) tanked.  New Regency head Arnon Milchan kept Beatty’s passion project alive and arranged the financing through 15 billionaires and gazillionaires, at a reduced cost of $31.1 million.

A few of the entities and investors New Regency co-financed with were — Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment, RatPac-Dune (billionaire, foreclosure profiteer, scumbag and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin), Jeffrey Soros’ Considered Entertainment, Sybil Robson Orr’s (part of Walmart’s Walton family) Robson Orr Entertainment, Terry Semel’s Windsor Media (the former CEO of Yahoo who passed on purchasing Google in 2002 and then botched a deal buying Facebook in 2006 and then was booted from his job in 2007), New York fund manager John Angelo (recently deceased) and the now defunct Worldview Entertainment invested $3,250,000 into the production.

New Regency fronted the P&A expenses and distributed through their long standing home at FOX.  The P&A costs were just north of $21 million and Regency fronted $18 million of that ad spend.  One year after the picture tanked worldwide, Regency sued most of the investors and Beatty for $18 million in P&A losses, which were backstopped so Regency would not be responsible for them.

Rules Don’t Apply was Warren Beatty’s first screen appearance since his involvement in the legendary fiasco Town & Country (2001) and the last picture he had directed was the comedy Bulworth (1998).  Rules Don’t Apply was dated for the Thanksgiving frame as a possible awards contender, but the lukewarm response from critics cooled off any heat the movie had.  Rules Don’t Apply was booked into 2,382 theaters during the crowded holiday market and would compete for scraps against Moana, Allied and Bad Santa 2.

The film opened with a disastrous $1,589,625 with a $667 per screen average.  It placed outside the top 10 at #12 and the first weekend numbers at the time of release were the 5th worst on record for a first run feature playing in over 2,000 theaters.  Rules Don’t Apply plunged 65.8% to $543,058 in its second frame and promptly lost most of its theater count.  It was pulled out of release after only four weeks with just $3,652,206.  New Regency would see returned about $1.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Rules Don’t Apply cumed a mere $233,136 from the few offshore markets that gave this a theatrical release.


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