The Light Between Oceans

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  • Directed By: Derek Cianfrance
  • Written By: Derek Cianfrance, M.L. Stedman
  • Release Date: September 2, 2016
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney (Touchstone)
  • Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Box Office Info:
Budget: $20 millionFinanced by: DreamWorks; Participant Media; Reliance Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $12,545,979Overseas Gross: $13,429,642


The budget for The Light Between Oceans was $20 million and it was co-financed by DreamWorks, Participant Media and Reliance Entertainment.  Disney distributed domestically and in a few offshore territories.  Mister Smith sold the rights in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Filming began in September 2014 and Disney originally planned on a late 2015 awards potential release, but the picture was moved to 2016, to give it distance from Michael Fassbender’s nominated performance in Steve Jobs and Alicia Vikander’s Oscar winning performance in The Danish Girl.  DreamWorks and Disney reportedly clashed over scheduling a new date for the movie and Disney ultimately chose the slow Labor Day end of summer frame.  The Light Between Oceans marked the final DreamWorks property released by Disney, before they moved over to their new home at Universal.

Even with the acclaimed talent in front of and behind the camera and best selling source material, there was very little heat surrounding the movie going into release.  Reviews were mixed and Disney booked The Light Between Oceans into 1,500 theaters, where it bowed against Morgan and the wide expansion of Hands Of Stone.  It opened with a weak $4,765,838 — placing #8 for the weekend led by holdover Don’t Breathe.  The Light Between Oceans sank a huge 61.2% to $1,849,477 the following weekend, which killed any chance it had at breaking out.  The domestic run closed with only $12,545,979.  Disney would see returned about $6.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which leaves most of the P&A expenses in the red.

Overseas appeal was non-existent as well, with most markets pulling in less than $1 million.  UK & Australia numbers hit $2.3 & $2.5 million, which were the strongest territories.  The recorded offshore cume was $13.4 million.

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