The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

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  • Directed By: Lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston
  • Written By: Ashleigh Powell
  • Release Date: November 2, 2018
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren

Box Office Info:
Budget: $128.4 millionFinanced by: Disney
Domestic Box Office: $54,858,851Overseas Box Office: $119,102,218


Ashleigh Powell’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms screenplay was developed at The Mark Gordon Company and went out for studio bids in 2015.  Disney won the rights and officially incorporated the project on February 26, 2016 and hired director Lasse Hallström to helm this garish fiasco.  The budget for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was £103.8 million ($128.4M USD) after it went massively over-budget when extensive reshoots were issued.

Filming began in October 2016 and it was announced in December 2017 that 32 days of reshoots would take place with Joe Johnston taking over directing duties.  The mouse house issued the usual sanitized PR statement that Hallström was unavailable for the additional filming.  Cough. Bullsh-t. Cough.

The Christmas movie was dated far enough away from Christmas on November 2, 2018 as the studio had positioned Ralph Breaks the Internet for the Thanksgiving frame and Mary Poppins Returns as their end of the year holiday release.  This soulless piece of committee filmmaking landed terrible reviews and despite a massive marketing blitz The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was tracking for a very soft opening near $20M.  It bowed against Bohemian Rhapsody and Nobody’s Fool and came within its disappointing expectations at $20,352,491 — placing #2 for the weekend led by Bohemian Rhapsody.  It fell 50.4% to $10,086,869 in its second frame and sank 52.7% to $4,772,950 in its third session.  The domestic run closed with $54,858,851.

For the offshore run, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms mostly pulled in soft numbers for a movie with at least $250M in production and marketing coin behind it.  The numbers stalled at $119.1M, which brought the global tally to $173.9M — which would return about $95M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving eight-figures worth of P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.  The Nutcracker and the Four Realms marked the third box office disaster for Disney in 2018 after A Wrinkle In Time and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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