Nearly 20 months after it was initially scheduled for release, “Geostorm” finally arrived in theaters this weekend and quickly capsized at the box office.
Against a budget of $120 million, which included $15 million for extensive reshoots, the global warming cautionary tale has only made a reported $66.8 million worldwide, including $14.7 million domestically. So, how much money will “Geostorm” lose?
Starring Gerard Butler as an engineer trying to fix a satellite system designed to end climate change, the Warner Bros.-Skydance movie focuses on human-triggered global catastrophes.
The film is the second biggest flop for Warner Bros. this year, after “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” failed to recoup its $175 million budget back in May. It’s also another flop for Skydance, which co-financed “Baywatch” with Paramount earlier this year, making only $177 million worldwide against a $69 million production budget.
Box office and finance analysts who spoke with TheWrap estimate that the break-even point for “Geostorm” is likely between $300 million and $350 million worldwide. Usually, for a non-franchise event release, the bar is set between $350 million and $400 million. But WB cut its marketing budget for the weather-themed catastrophe movie after pushing back the release date three times from March 2016 to this past weekend, when no Thursday preview screenings were held. It didn’t help that critics gave it a 13 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.
“There really wasn’t a lot of advertising for this movie, and that’s a sign that WB was willing to cut their losses,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock.
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This weekend, “Geostorm” will roll out in China, but it’s highly unlikely that the Middle Kingdom will bail out this disaster film as only 25 percent of Chinese box office revenue goes to studios. Then, the following weekend, “Geostorm” will be effectively drowned out as “Thor: Ragnarok” sucks up all the attention from moviegoers. By the end of its run, analysts expect that the film will be lucky to make $200 million worldwide, putting “Geostorm” as much as $100 million in the red.
Along with “King Arthur,” “Geostorm” is the fifth film with a $100 million-plus price tag to fall apart at the box office this year. Other big flops include “Monster Trucks” ($64 million worldwide gross against a $125 million budget), “Ghost In The Shell” ($169 million gross/$110 million budget), and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” ($225 million gross/$177 million budget).
The good news for WB is that they have put themselves in good enough of a position to take the hit. The film was co-financed with Skydance and Ratpac, meaning the three studios will share the loss between them. Also, unlike when “King Arthur” was in theaters, WB has built up an immense amount of revenue over the past four months. Its last four hit releases, “Wonder Woman,” “Dunkirk,” “Annabelle: Creation” and “It,” have grossed a combined $2.3 billion worldwide and given the studio an industry-best 20.3 percent of domestic market share for 2017, according to Box Office Mojo. With such success, the writedown WB will take for “Geostorm” pales in comparison.
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