Lionsgate on ‘Mortdecai’: ‘It’s Clearly a Disappointment’

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has asserted that Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai” will be a “very manageable” loss for the studio despite the comedy’s weak box office performance.

“Obviously not all of our films work and last month’s ‘Mortdecai’ was clearly a disappointment,” Feltheimer told analysts Friday during the company’s conference call to discuss earnings for its third quarter ended Dec. 31.

“Mortdecai,” which carries a $60 million price tag, has underperformed significantly since its Jan. 23 launch with $7 million in U.S. box office. It’s grossed another $11 million internationally.

The exec noted that Lionsgate’s financing structure, which uses foreign pre-sales to limit its downside, has minimized the studio’s exposure along with an investment by Gigi Pritzker’s OddLot as part of their financing partnership. “Given the number of ways we limited our exposure including pre-licensing international rights, curtailing the marketing spend and taking on a production partner we will have incurred a very manageable loss,” he said.

Feltheimer has credited the financing model in the past with limiting Lionsgate’s average exposure per film to $13 million.

The studio had high hopes for “Mortdecai” last year. Feltheimer told analysts last May that it was a potential franchise along with “Now You See Me,” “Gods of Egypt,” “American Ultra,” “Outliers,” “The Last Witch Hunter” and “Power Rangers.”

“Mortdcai” is the latest in a series of high-profile flops for Depp following “Transcendence,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Dark Shadows.” He’ll be seen next in September in Warner Bros.’ untitled project about gangster Whitey Bulger.

More Film

  • 'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office

    'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office With Dazzling Debut at $180 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has jolted the North American box office back to life with an opening weekend in the $180 million range, estimates showed Saturday. “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and could replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American [...]

  • 'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in

    'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in Hospital After Stabbing

    Hugely popular Hong Kong actor, Simon Yam was stabbed while on stage Saturday at a presentation in Zhongshan, Guangdong province in southern China. He is in hospital recovering. The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest. A man was seen rushing on [...]

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]


    Director Sara Gouveia on ‘Looking At Resilience Through Art’

    DURBAN–The Mapiko dance of Mozambique’s indigenous Makonde people was long used as a tool for social commentary. But during the colonial era it became an act of political resistance, prompting the Portuguese to stamp it out during Mozambique’s 10-year war for independence. Decades later, the art has been revived as a celebration of freedom. For [...]

  • Don Edkins

    Documentary Filmmaker Don Edkins on ‘Creating an African Voice’ 

    DURBAN–For the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, a new strand was created to look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing documentary filmmakers in Africa. The two-day program, Durban Does Docs, offers a series of conversations, seminars and workshops with an intensive focus on the aesthetics, funding, distribution [...]

  • A Faithful Man

    Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

    French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-cum-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content