Zoolander 2

  • Zoolander 2 box office
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  • Directed By: Ben Stiller
  • Written By: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg
  • Release Date: February 12, 2016
  • Domestic Distributor: Paramount
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 millionFinanced by: Paramount
Domestic Gross: $28,848,693Overseas Gross: $27,120,307


The budget for Zoolander 2 was just north of $50 million and it was financed by Paramount.   This belated sequel set the record for the most online views of a comedy trailer with 52.2 million views in its first week.  Paramount invested in an expensive worldwide marketing blitz and scheduled the pic for release over the competitive Valentine’s Day frame, against Deadpool and How To Be Single.  In addition to Paramount’s ad push, Zoolander 2 had numerous promotional tie-ins with Fiat, Cîroc Vodka, a Zoolander skin-care line at Kiehl’s, Samsung and more.  Hell, there was even a Blue Steel Selfie app.

Awareness was very high for Zoolander 2 and it was tracking for an opening around $25 million, but atrocious reviews and a poor C+ cinemascore from audiences brought this in far below estimates at $13,841,146 in 3,394 theaters.  It placed a distant #4 for the weekend, when the marketplace was dominated by Deadpool.  The movie sank 60.6% in its second frame to $5,455,344 and continued to post huge weekly declines and sputtered out of release with only $28,848,693.

The film did not fare any better overseas, with a weak $27.1 million cume.  The UK posted the highest gross with only $5.7 million and Australia posted $5.2 million.  The worldwide total has stalled at $55.9 million, returning about $30.7 million to Paramount after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said the box office failure of Zoolander 2 and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot cost the studio $136 million in losses.  A week after Zoolander 2 pulled in its disappointing opening numbers, a bitter Viacom board drama erupted between Philippe Dauman and Viacom head Sumner Redstone.  Dauman wanted to sell 49% of the studio to China based Wanda and Redstone did not want to give up any ownership of the studio and a very public and messy battle played out, resulting in the departure of Dauman — who received an exit package estimated at $85 million.  That is an amazing payout for someone who attempted a corporate coup, by claiming the mental competence of his 93-year-old boss was not of sound mind.  The box office failure of Zoolander 2 was not the primary reason behind Dauman wanting to sell off the studio, as Paramount’s value has been estimated between $4 billion to $5.5 billion — far less than Viacom’s $9.9 billion takeover in 1994.

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