Thank You For Your Service
|Budget: $20 million||Financed by: DreamWorks; Reliance Entertainment|
|Domestic Gross: $9,479,390||Domestic Distributor: Universal|
|Overseas Gross: Still in release|
Directed by: Jason Hall
Produced by: Jon Kilik
Before David Finkel’s book Thank You For Your Service was published in 2013, DreamWorks acquired the movie rights. The adaptation was penned by Jason Hall, who also turned in the screenplay for American Sniper. Both American Sniper and Thank You For Your Service were two of many projects that Steven Spielberg was attached to as director, but eventually he passed on both. The project began to actively move forward in 2015, when Jason Hall landed the job as director. DreamWorks co-financed the movie for a modest $20 million with India based Reliance Entertainment — which had been DreamWorks’ primary source of funding for years. Mister Smith Entertainment handled sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. DreamWorks’ new domestic distribution partner is Universal, which is handling the US release.
Universal dated Thank You For Your Service for October 27 and gave the movie a muted marketing push, with the bulk of the studio’s efforts directed toward the heartland of America. Just as Only The Brave (also starring Miles Teller) tried and failed to court a similar audience just one week prior, Thank You For Your Service was tracking with a similar $5 – $7 million opening. Topical films dealing with the military and the ‘war on terror’ have a built in audience resistance and the few movies that have transcended audience’s lack of interest have been more jingoistic in tone like Lone Survivor. Despite Universal plastering Lone Survivor and American Sniper all over this film’s marketing materials, a small movie about PTSD and the tragic neglect of veterans would always be a tough sell in this marketplace. It bowed against Jigsaw and Suburbicon and even with decent reviews, Thank You For Your Service opened lower than its already low expectations with a terrible $3,817,700 — placing #6 for the slow weekend led by Jigsaw. It declined 42.2% in its second weekend to $2,207,855 and was pulled from release after just four weeks with $9,479,390. Universal would see returned about $5.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover much of the P&A expenses or any of the budget.
This is a movie clearly designed for the domestic market and will likely have little traction overseas. Thank You For Your Service has been released in a handful of overseas markets and has pulled in a mere $200k. A few more markets are set to open through January 2018. More as those numbers come in…