- Directed By: John Lee Hancock
- Written By: Robert D. Siegel
- Release Date: December 7, 2016
- Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company
- Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: FilmNation; Faliro House Productions; The Weinstein Company|
|Domestic Gross: $12,786,053||Overseas Gross: $11,335,192|
The budget for The Founder was $25 million and majority financed by FilmNation. The Greek financier Faliro House Productions inked a two year fund arrangement with FilmNation in early 2014 to help finance four to eight pictures per year and contributed coin toward The Founder. FilmNation took the project to the European Film Market in Berlin in February 2015 for pre-sales and almost sold out all international markets. CAA handled domestic sales and The Founder was in a bidding war amongst the major distributors and The Weinstein Company won the rights for $7 million with a minimum $10 million P&A commitment and they also boarded as co-financier.
The Weinstein Company first dated The Founder for the Thanksgiving frame on November 25, 2016 but then moved it to August 5 and slated Lion in a limited release on November 25. TWC then moved the pic to December 16 for an Oscar qualifying run and a wide release planned for January 20, 2017. TWC finally decided on a one week run on December 7 at the ArcLight Hollywood and then the wide January expansion. Reviews were positive, but lukewarm and while Michael Keaton’s performance was praised as an Oscar hopeful, there was little award buzz.
In November 2016, FilmNation informed TWC that they were breaching their agreement concerning the release date, as they were contractually prohibited from releasing another picture either seven days before or after The Founder — as they had scheduled the wide expansion of another awards hopeful Gold on January 27. TWC kept the two pictures on the back to back weekends and The Founder bowed against Split and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. It was booked only moderately wide into 1,115 theaters and came in within its very low expectations at $3,404,102. It placed #11 for the weekend led by Split. The Founder declined a small 23.4% to $2,606,832 in its second frame (Gold bombed horribly at the box office) and then declined 45% to $1,433,671 in its third session. The domestic run closed with $12,786,053. TWC would see returned about $6.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross.
On February 6, FilmNation sued TWC for $15 million in damages, under their subsidiary Speedee Distribution. Along with the release date breach, FilmNation claims both The Founder and Gold cannibalized each other at the box office. You can read the lawsuit here.
The film grossed just $11.3 million from its overseas rollout across numerous distributors, with $2 million from Australia for distributor Roadshow as the strongest offshore showing.