The Darkest Minds
- Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
- Written By: Chad Hodge
- Release Date: August 3, 2018
- Domestic Distributor: FOX
- Cast: Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Gwendoline Christie
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $34 million||Financed by: FOX|
|Domestic Box Office: $12,695,691||Overseas Box Office: $28,446,688|
The rights to The Darkest Minds YA novel was acquired by FOX in mid September 2014, just days before the studio scored a hit with another YA property The Maze Runner. The Darkest Minds was financed by FOX and packaged together using their Maze Runner model. Both movies were budgeted at $34 million and the director of Maze Runner had a background in vfx and The Darkest Minds director Jennifer Yuh Nelson had previously helmed the computer animated movies Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3.
The Darkest Minds was released as the YA craze was running on fumes and the movie looked like an amalgamation of every YA dystopian cliché that had been on screen over the last decade. On top of the recycled tropes, it also looked like a low rent X-Men knock off. FOX dated The Darkest Minds for August 3, 2018 and despite poor tracking, the studio did invest into an expensive P&A campaign in hopes to launch a franchise.
It bowed into a very crowded and competitive summer market against Disney’s Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me and the wide expansion of Eighth Grade. The Darkest Minds landed terrible reviews and was dead on arrival with $5,842,609 — placing #8 for the weekend led by the holover Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It then sank 63.3% to $2,142,645 the following frame and promptly lost most of its theater count. The domestic run closed with just $12,695,691.
The Darkest Minds also struggled overseas, where it pulled in $28.4M — with France posting the highest numbers at $5.7M. The worldwide cume was $41.1M. FOX would see returned about $22.6M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — far below global P&A costs and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.