Thomas Tull and Legendary had a pretty charmed run at Warner Bros with the Dark Knight and Hangover hits, but they’ve lost big on two costly flops so far this year in the new partnership with Universal. Our sister publication Variety has broken a good story in revealing that the Michael Mann-directed Blackhat cost a writedown of $90 million after selling just $14.5 million in domestic tickets. It already took an $85 million writedown on The Seventh Son, which finally comes out this weekend. It underscores the high stakes in shouldering the costs of these big-budget films.
Tull had been 6-for-6, showing profit for stakes in Unbroken, Dracula Untold, Interstellar, Godzilla, the sleeper horror hit As Above, So Below, and the 300 sequel. Legendary has stakes in Jurassic World, which is about as can’t-miss as it gets, and Straight Outta Compton, which I think will be a sleeper, and then the company has its next big production in the Guillermo del Toro-directed ghost tale Crimson Peak. It is still possible to salvage a good year. And at least he didn’t have a stake in Jupiter Ascending, which looks like a writedown waiting to happen.
A lot of money is going to go down the drain this weekend at the box office, if the tracking is to be trusted.