’47 Ronin’ has already cost Universal Pictures untold millions

Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin

Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures movie studio has taken unspecified write-downs for its $175 million, Keanu Reeves film “47 Ronin” that opens on Christmas Day, the studio has acknowledged, as Hollywood neared the end of a year of big budget bombs.

The film, a fantasy action film about a group of samurai in 18th century Japan, cost $175 million to make, according to people with knowledge of its budget.

It is expected to gross between $17 million and $20 million for the five-day Christmas Day holiday period through Sunday December 29, Hollywood experts have forecast, a particularly weak showing for a big budget film.

“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” said a Universal official. “In the case of ’47 Ronin,’ we adjusted film costs in previous quarters and as a result, our financial performance will not be negatively impacted this quarter by its theatrical performance.”

Universal did not disclose the size of the earlier write-downs.

Although Hollywood executives cautiously predict a record year at the box office, many had their own big budget misfires. Walt Disney wrote down the costs of the $215 million Johnny Depp western “The Lone Ranger,” which it had said lost more than $160 million.

Earlier in the year, Dreamworks Animation took an $87 million write down for its 2012 holiday film “Rise of the Guardians,” while Warner Brothers’ “Jack the Giant Slayer” generated $197.7 million in worldwide ticket sales and cost $195 million to make. (Studios generally get half the ticket sales.)

Sony cited the “theatrical underperformance” of the $150 million thriller “White House Down” as one reason its studio recorded a $181 million loss in its second quarter.

Universal’s “47 Ronin” tells the story of a half-Japanese former slave, played by Keanu Reeves, who joins a band of outcast samurai intent on avenging the death of their master and who battle mythic beasts and shape-shifting witches.

It was initially scheduled for release in November 2012, but was moved to February 2013 for more work on the 3D visual efforts, before it was postponed to Christmas Day.

The film has grossed an estimated $6.2 million in three foreign markets, including Japan and Singapore, Universal said.

Powered by hits “Despicable Me 2″ and “Fast & Furious 6,” the studio had a record year at the box office in 2013, it said earlier in the year, crossing $2 billion mark in international ticket sales for the first time in its 101-year history.

It also had its best year in the domestic market, with $1.4 billion in North American film sales, third behind Warner Brothers and Walt Disney, according to Box Office Mojo.

On December 23, Universal said it had pushed back its car chase movie “Fast & Furious 7″ by nine months to April 2015 after co-star Paul Walker died in a car crash.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man survives shooting in Bronx apartment building lobby

A man survived a shot to his abdomen on Sunday after authorities say an unknown suspect fired off inside the Bronx apartment building lobby.

News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.