Universal Pictures has acknowledged that “47 Ronin” is a loser, disclosing that it’s taken the ususual step of writing down some if its $175 million cost prior to the current quarter.
The samurai tentpole, starring Keanu Reeves, opened Christmas Day and is projected to earn under $20 million through Sunday — the worst debut for a $150 million-plus movie in 2013.
The film finished sixth on Thursday with a meager $3.4 million.
Internationally, “47 Ronin” has opened in 14 territories for a total of $10 million through Wednesday. Though the film’s opening two weeks ago in Japan was dire, it finished first in its Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan openings.
Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp., issued a statement confirming the writedown but did not disclose its size.
“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” the studio said. “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 saw solid performances this year from “Fast and Furious 6” and “Despicable Me 2.” It’s finishing third in overall U.S. box office with more than $1.4 billion in grosses, trailing Warner Bros. and Disney.
Earlier this year, Disney took a writedown on “The Lone Ranger” after losing nearly $200 million on the Johnny Depp Western.