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Monday, May 19, 2008

Spotlight: Speed Racer (2008)

Warner put up $120 million to finance the Wachowski Bros.' big screen adaptation of the campy TV anime favorite, and another $150 million to market the visual effects extravaganza. Their payoff thus far? A whopping $30.2 million domestic and $24.6 million overseas, giving the Emile Hirsh-Christina Ricci starrer a whopping $54.8 million worldwide take since its debut on May 9th, and probably a few canned producers in the process.

Easily the biggest flop of 2008 thus far, the film suffered from a horrible marketing campaign, poor reviews (34% recommendation rating on Rottentomatoes.com), no A-list stars and a strong sophomore frame from blockbuster Iron Man. But perhaps Warner's biggest failure was in trying to decide what demographic the film was supposed target. Older fans of the anime were turned off by the Spy Kids meets Mario Kart visual elements, teens didn't get the super campy factor, which left little kiddies and their parents, many of whom were reluctant to plop down their hard-earned cash for the distinct possibility of motion sickness.

Sputtering at the starting gate with $18.5 million over its opening weekend the debut failed to beat even Fox's low-budget romantic comedy offering What Happens in Vegas, which captured the No. 2 spot with $20.17 million in its debut. Now that the summer season is in full swing (Narnia: Prince Caspian opened this past weekend while Indy IV swings into theaters this weekend), look for Speed Racer to quickly tumble out of the top ten, grossing less than $40 million domestically.

Budget: $120m
Marketing Budget: $150m
Opening weekend: $18.5m
Domestic Gross: $30.2m
International Gross: $24.6m

source(s): boxofficemojo.com, einsiders.com

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