A Cure For Wellness

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  • Directed By: Gore Verbinski
  • Written By: Justin Haythe
  • Release Date: February 17, 2017
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

Box Office Info:
Budget: $38 million Financed by: New Regency; German Federal Film Fund; MDM; Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
Domestic Gross: $8,106,986 Overseas Gross: $18,513,016

Fresh off of helming one of the biggest box office disasters The Lone Ranger (2013), Director Gore Verbinski landed a three-year producing and directing deal at New Regency, under his Blink Wink shingle in February 2014.  The first project was an untitled thriller that took place in North Korea with Steve Carell attached, but it was canceled in the wake of the Sony hacks stemmed from the comedy about North Korea The Interview.  The follow up project Verbinski was set to direct was A Cure For Wellness, which then went into production.  

The budget for A Cure For Wellness was $38 million and New Regency majority financed and they partnered with German based Studio Babelsberg, which allowed them to tap numerous German funds for additional coin.  The German Federal Film Fund invested $8.8 million, the fund MDM gave $437,000 and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg gave $560,000.  FOX distributed in most markets, as per their output deal with New Regency.

FOX first dated A Cure For Wellness for September 23, 2016 but pushed the pic back to February 17, 2017.  FOX invested in a sizable P&A spend, even plunking down at least $5 million on a prime Super Bowl spot.  As the release date was approaching, tracking was soft and Regency and FOX pulled a deceptive marketing stunt in hopes to bolster audience interest.

During the week leading up to the release date, the studio exploited the ‘fake news’ plague that crept into the political discourse.  Numerous websites were created to publish deliberately controversial and phony articles, with topics about abortion, Trump, vaccines, etc., to fuel a reactionary response from readers in hopes that the articles go viral.  The articles all had advertisements for A Cure For Wellness and most made passing references to plot points and some even placed hashtags for the movie (see below pic).  Inevitably, with the current state of gutter journalism, some actual publications picked up these ridiculous stories and spread them to their readers as real news.  Sigh.  Of course, the fake news scheme was eventually revealed, which prompted mass outrage on social media and an apology from FOX and Regency.  Tracking remained poor and reviews were mixed to unfavorable.

A Cure For Wellness bowed against The Great Wall and Fist Fight and was expected to open with less than $8 million.  It tanked with $4,356,941 — placing #10 for the weekend led by holdover The LEGO Batman Movie.  Even with the dismal opening, A Cure For Wellness was front-loaded and sank 67.8% to $1,401,394 in its second session.  It was promptly pulled from 2,616 theaters, which was the 2nd largest theater drop on record, behind the 2016 flop Live By Night.  The domestic run closed with just $8,106,986.

A Cure For Wellness pulled in an $18.5 million overseas haul, with Russia posting the highest numbers at $3.6 million.  The worldwide cume was $26.6M and FOX would see returned about $14.6M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — far below global P&A expenses and the budget would be all red.


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