The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

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  • Directed By: Cal Brunker
  • Written By: Bob Barlen, Cal Brunker, Scott Bindley
  • Release Date: August 11, 2017
  • Domestic Distributor: Open Road
  • Cast: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Bobby Cannavale
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Box Office Info:
Budget: $43 million Financed by: Redrover; Gulfstream Pictures; The Korea Creative Content Agency
Domestic Gross: $28,370,522 Overseas Gross: $36,775,498

After the success of The Nut Job (2014), which pulled in $120.8 million worldwide, the producers and financiers began work on The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.  This sequel, which is a South Korean production, reportedly had the same financing model as the original, which had a $43 million budget. 

The Korean vfx company, turned production financier Redrover provided the majority capital.  In 2012, Redrover launched a $200 million production fund called Gulfstream Pictures, which was also backed by private equity funds in the US — and Gulfstream’s first investment was The Nut Job and also contributed to this sequel.  Both Nut Job movies also received investments from Korean government funds, reaching $8.5 million and The Korea Creative Content Agency invested $600,000.  The Weinstein Company handled global pre-sales to distributors (except for China and Korea markets), which would round out the rest of funding and it sold very well to over 170 countries. 

Open Road signed back on as US distributor, which saw success with the original that grossed $64.2 million. The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature was first dated for January 15, 2016 but was eventually pushed back until May 19, 2017 — as voice casting was still underway in the summer of 2016.  Open Road then pushed it back to August 18, 2017 and then finally settled on August 11.  The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature was given a strong marketing push with $22.78 million spent on TV ads (as per iSpotTV) and after other traditional means of advertising, the US P&A spend was north of $35 million. 

The reviews were as lousy as the first installment (which did not stop that from turning a profit), but tracking was coming in softer than part 1 at $12 million to a low teens opening weekend.  The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature bowed against Annabelle: Creation and The Glass Castle.  The toon would also have competition from the wretched The Emoji Movie in its third session and Despicable Me 3 was still pulling in millions in its seventh frame. 

The Nut Job 2 came in below expectations with $8,342,311 — which was the worst opening for a movie booked into over 4,000 theaters.  It placed #3 for the weekend led by Annabelle: Creation.  The Nut Job 2 declined a so-so 39% the following weekend to $5,092,344 but then sank 54.5% to $2,315,095 in its third frame, when another mid-budget toon entered the market Leap!  The domestic run closed with $28,370,522.

The Nut Job 2 has also seen diminishing returns from the $56.6 million overseas cume of its predecessor.  Both installments actually tanked in South Korea — each grossing $2.7 million.  France posted the highest offshore numbers at $6.4 million.  The overseas cume stalled at $36.7 million across many distributors.

A few months before the release of The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, Redrover announced The Nut Job 3, but after Part 2’s box office numbers, that will either be scrapped or likely go the cheap direct to video route.

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