A primer, courtesy of The Numbers:
Biggest Budgets of all-time
|Release Date||Movie||Distributor||Budget||US Gross||Worldwide Gross|
|2||12/7/2007||His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass||New Line||$250,000,000||$69,253,101||$322,853,101|
General plan for this thread: discuss/detail The Golden Compass‘ box-office performance internationally and the resulting fallout.
The 500 million figure is based on simplified Hollywood math: 2x production budget gross = break-even.
There’s a lot riding on this film. Not only will a poorly-performing TGC be the biggest financial disappointment of 2007, it will earn a place next to things like Stealth, Pluto Nash and Town & Country as one of the all-time cinematic disasters.
While the status of New Line’s current management (including founder Bob Shaye) is clearly on the line, so is the NL’s future as an independently-operated studio. Biggest non-strike story in Hollywood? Yep.
03/05/08: Late in updating this thread (for the final time) but Shaye, Lynne and an estimated 85% of New Line’s staff are out. Operations will be moving to the WB lot (and closing completely in NY). Oh, and Semi-Pro made less than half of projections opening weekend.
02/09/08: When Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes tells a group of analysts that New Line Cinema is ripe for expense reductions and that “changes in the film industry leave less purpose for New Line”…you know the end is near. BusinessWeek concurs with expert analysis.
Also updated totals, the film’s international take continues to astound. I don’t have the numbers – but I’ve got to think that it’s the best multiplier EVER in terms of US vs. Foreign take.
01/22/08: Nikki Finke reports that it’s a “virtual certainty” that Shaye or Lynne’s contracts will not be renewed. More importantly, Nikki believes that New Line will likely be absorbed by Warner Brothers.
12/18/07: Updated all totals. Worldwide final (again, depending on WOM) is probably looking like 200-250 million….or roughly half of the break-even. Of course, this might change everything in terms of management’s future.
1/22/08 - Dave Poland reports that “it’s virtually certain” that Warner Brothers will not be renewing Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne’s contracts and that New Line will be absorbed by Warner Brothers.
12/16/07: Updated domestic total is $40,968,000 after a $9,025,000 weekend and a 66% drop. Worldwide totals will be updated in the coming days. The drop indicates “meh” word-of-mouth, it should be interesting to see if the international markets react similarly.
12/15/07: Friday night domestic estimate is about $3,050,000 which would equal around a 10 million weekend. Final total is now probably hovering around the 70 million mark.
12/13/07: New Line kicked off their revamped marketing campaign for the US. New spots are family-friendly, upbeat and focus on the kids (little to no Kidman or Craig) while a peppy V.O. explains “Lyra’s friends have disappeared! Now it’s up to her, a magical compass and her talking polar bear to find them!”. Sure, maybe it’s a bit misleading and simplified, but it works. Heads and shoulders above the past two months of spots. I’ll toss up a YouTube link as soon as one is available.
12/10/07: Updated total in graphic.
12/8/07: Early, unofficial b.o. numbers sneaking out. It appears the film made around 8 million in the US last night. That puts it on-track for a sub 25 million opening.