The Darkest Minds

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  • 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 GradeThe 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.


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  1. And not to mention that this film left my local movie theater after only playing for 2 weeks! When I saw it, there were only TWO showtimes for it, despite it being only it’s SECOND WEEKEND! I guess Fox was ready to declare this film as a failure.

  2. The fact that Isle of Dogs, an animated indie film released in less than 2000 theatres, made more money that this blockbuster makes me happy.

    • And calling this film a “blockbuster” is really lucky. SERIOUSLY, WAS THERE ANY PEOPLE WHO REALLY SAW THIS?
      But on the other hand, seeing “Isle Of Dogs” making over TWICE the money(in the USA) this film made in the USA, AND PLAYING IN ABOUT HALF THE THEATERS really makes me happy. I will check “Isle Of Dogs” out at some point. Congratulations, Fox Searchlight!

  3. The film FINALLY ended it’s theatrical run in the USA, with an abysmal 12.6 million dollars(see I’m surprised it managed to stay in theaters for almost 80 DAYS, when it could have ended it’s theatrical run just after it’s third weekend(where afterwards, it made little to NO money for 8 weeks), and surprisingly enough, 1 and a half weeks before it’s home media release(which on the 30th, the day before Halloween(and which it’s film(which came out yesterday) is about to MAKE MORE OCTOBER RECORDS with a 75 million dollar opening weekend). That’s the best way to describe it. It will be a MIRACLE if the film hits the 50 million dollar mark at the worldwide box office(of course, that’s NOT going to happen). I was just pointing that out.

  4. And this was one of the two YA film adaptations that I saw in the theaters this year. The other being “Ready Player One”(yes, that was also a YA adaptation). You can see which film had the much higher budget, better critical reception, a world famous director, and the FAR better box office results. Yes, that was the latter film(“Ready Player One”). That film was able to make more than half a billion dollars worldwide(580 million dollars, to be exact. It was just 20 million dollars away from making it to the 600 million dollar mark.). This film will struggle to hit the 40 million dollar mark WORLDWIDE, which “Ready Player One” was able to make in just three days in the USA(in it’s opening weekend, no less!). I don’t know if I feel either GLAD or SORRY for the awful box office results this film had. It’s going to be released on home media in just one month(see and 30th, to be exact), so I don’t know how long this film will last in theaters. Probably before then.

  5. Not surprised that this film is on this list. It got AWFUL reviews from critics and did VERY poorly at the box office(and broke the record for having the biggest third weekend theater drop in history). I(sadly) got to see this film during it’s theatrical run, and it was HORRIBLE. Worst film of 2018(unless there’s anything worse, which I doubt will happen). Period.

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