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Brad Pitt's Margot Robbie Movie Won't Break Even - Deadline -
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Brad Pitt's Margot Robbie Movie Won't Break Even - Deadline

Brad Pitt’s Margot Robbie Movie Won’t Break Even – Deadline

Damien Chazelle $80 Million 1920s Hollywood Epic Babylon caught fire at the domestic box office last weekend with a terrible $5.3M four-day start.

BABYLON, Brad Pitt, 2022. © Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Say what you will about the harsh winter conditions plaguing cinema across the country, however, this film, which was informed by a previous Paramount regime and heavily supported by the new administration of Brian Robbins, was against all odds upon its preview. to a cynical press. over a month ago at the Academy Theater to lackluster reviews at 56% Rotten Tomatoes. Burying the picture’s fate further, audience releases including a horrible C+ CinemaScore and PostTrak of 74% and 47% Definite Recommendations, not to mention its 3 hour and 8 minute runtime. Babylon is the lowest U.S. opening for star Margot Robbie at $3.6 million, beating amsterdam$6.4 million, plus Brad Pitt as frontman, lower than early 1993 at $4 million True Romance.

BABYLON, from left: Kaia Gerber, Li Jun Li, 2022. ph: Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

With results like these, no one is making Babylon a choice to see on the holidays, even though there’s a lack of adult competition. According to financial sources, it is too early to determine the extent of the bleeding here, as the Robbie-Pitt film does not begin its overseas rollout until mid-January. That said, the profit point of this film lives around $250 million WW, and that with a worldwide marketing spend of around $80 million, the same as its production cost. Paramount, like any studio, will cut its marketing costs on the film following its failure in the United States, I was told. The pic has already nabbed five Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

It’s important to note that in the new Covid era, no matter how much a film does at the box office, it has not been shown to damage its chances at the Oscars. And there are several examples to prove it, a prime case being Searchlight’s 2021 Best Picture winner Nomadland, which made single-digits and on which the Disney art house label has never reported official photo ticket sales.

domestic for Babylon is lucky to reach $20 million, which puts immense pressure on overseas deliveries, which means another $230 million, which is mission impossible. That said, Paramount thinks the length of the picture, which is more appetizing to a foreign crowd, as well as British and French critics will give Babylon some kind of impulse abroad. “They like these kinds of movies,” an insider said. At Chazelle’s first man made 57% of its total of $105 million overseas. Japan, South Korea, the UK and France were key territories for this film, as well as Chazelle’s multi-Oscar winner. La La Land. Last year Guillermo del Toro’s $60 million vintage coin alley of nightmares grossed $11.3 million domestically and $39.6 million worldwide.

Before anyone writes an obituary on box office original movies on Babylonresults, it is important to distinguish everyone else’s movie. The pic with his period tale inside Hollywood was already a gamble, not to mention his tough ‘R’ story which, in the first 30 minutes before the title credits, includes an elephant pooping on a human and a Fatty Arbuckle guy defecated by a hooker. Robbie’s character, who resembles Clara Bow, vomits at a sweltering Hollywood party much later in the film. Who was the audience for this outside of critics and voters? Historically, films about the inner workings of Hollywood have always been under-grossing. Not to mention the price of this vintage piece, just like the entire WW1 era set. amsterdam, made the project an impossible task to achieve profitability for rival studios. So they passed.

CHAPLIN, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., 1992, (c) TriStar/courtesy Everett Collection

Examples of Hollywood Insider Movies That Haven’t Made it to Mass Audiences: The Three-Time Oscar Nominee Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr. in 1992, which only made $9.5 million in the United States (although it did allow Hollywood to take the SNL serious alum as an actor) and the 2x award-winning title at Cannes The player only grossed $21.7 million that year as well.

Paramount thought they had The wolf of Wall Street and Once upon a time in Hollywood in Babylon. They didn’t: Both of these films starred Leonardo DiCaprio. The wolf of Wall Street worked ($406.8 million WW) in its appeal for its thrilling subject matter to high-end audiences about the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, while Once upon a time in Hollywood ($377.6 million WW) had Quentin Tarantino’s electric narration. Babtherelon, which follows the chaos that ensued in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, was in Chazelle’s eyes an allegory of what the industry is experiencing today in the clash between the big screen and streaming. If the filmmaker had to do Babylon start all over again – he would do it for the cinema. The question is whether it could do so for less, which is the likely fate of some of these original adult films.

Chazelle and the photo’s producers, Olivia Hamilton and Matthew Plouffe, took Babylon at Paramount, where Wyck Godfrey was then president of the Motion Picture Group. Godfrey was a producer on Chazelle’s First man. Godfrey’s mo at the time was finding and making awards season movies like Babylon for the Melrose batch, do not Transformers movies. Chazelle had been developing the project for some time; Plouffe first learned of it as a former Focus Features executive when the two met at Sundance about 13 years ago.

“He responded to it and became this champion,” Chazelle told us of Godfrey’s support for Babylon on the Deadline crew call. “He fought to get the film into the studio. Without him, I’m not convinced it would be a Paramount film.

Following Godfrey’s departure, former Paramount production boss Emma Watts took over oversight of Babylon and aimed to get him back in shape before his departure in September 2021.

Courtesy, United Artists

Babylon originally planned to start production in March 2020, but the pandemic hit and filming didn’t begin until July 2021 in Santa Clarita. The area remains a hotbed for Hollywood filming, dating back to the era of silence when Chaplin filmed Modern times in the Highlands region, 25 miles north of Los Angeles. The mansion of late Western star William S. Hart served as the home of Pitt’s star character in the film, Jack Conrad.

Plouffe told us on Crew Call, “There was something essential for us in making the film the way films were made in the 20s, in the places where they were making films and not pretending .”

Despite California’s tax credits and local filming, filming a production in California comes at a cost given the higher rate of union labor. Not to mention, the start and stop of making a film during Covid, which also impacted the cost of production for the worse of amsterdam. Emma Stone originally had the female lead before quitting due to a scheduling conflict in December 2020. That’s when Robbie’s attachment was announced, as Deadline reported. reported for the first time.

Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Daria Cercek, Co-Chair of Paramount Motion Picture Group, Michael Ireland, Co-Chair of Paramount Motion Picture Group, Olivia Wilde, Karolina Szymczak, Damien Chazelle, Eric Roberts, Olivia Hamilton, PJ Byrne , Margot Robbie, Flea, Tobey Maguire, Li Jun Li, Rory Scovel, Brad Pitt, Jovan Adepo, Max Minghella, Lukas Haas, Diego Calva and Jean Smart attend the World Premiere of Paramount Pictures’ ‘Babylon’ at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Typically, films from a previous studio regime are orphaned as new overlords emerge, but that hasn’t happened with Babylon. Godfrey left in June 2020 when Watts arrived. She left shortly after Jim Gianopulos was sacked as chairman and CEO in September 2021 when Robbins took over. He was only in favor of Babylon and Chazelle, rewarding the Oscar winner La La Land director a first production contract for his Wild Chickens label at Paramount.

Babylon will hit Paramount+ ahead of its Epix pay-TV window. Exhibitor sources tell me that’s over a 45-day theatrical window. The studio has fired the risk from Toronto co-financier C2 Motion Picture Group, headed by Jason Cloth, who I’m told owns a significant share of the film. With an international box office of $230 million and an estimated domestic finale of $20 million, it would generate $114 million in theater rental revenue, $10 million in home entertainment and streaming, $28 million in dollars in international entertainment, $2 million in free domestic television, $4 million in pay television and $40 million in international payment. That’s $198 million in revenue versus $188 million in costs, which includes equity, residuals, and interest for a profit of $10 million (but that’s not likely to happen). Duly note: No producer or Dwayne Johnson gave us these numbers (stars and producers don’t have access to studio income statements, duh). These estimates come from film funding sources and are on par with all the P&L calculations and research we’ve done over the years.

Says an insider linked to defense production Babylonproduction: “We moved so quickly to get what we needed. We didn’t have the luxury of an extra dollar. It was Paramount’s incredible conviction that moved mountains to make this film and Damien’s vision.

“The movie became a spiritual mission, so different from the green screen Marvel movies,” our source adds, “We didn’t have a lot of money, and there wasn’t a lot of money coming.”

As for Paramount, and the prospects for awards season for Babylon, it’s far from fading to black.