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Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon 'Water for Elephants' $100M Worldwide

Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Water for Elephants

To date, the Johnny Depp-Penélope Cruz vehicle Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the biggest worldwide box office hit of 2011, having grossed $623.71 million. In North America, the top movie is Fast Five, the fifth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, which has scored $196.02 million. Rio, Thor, and The Hangover Part II have also performed remarkably well.

As I mentioned in a previous post, apart from two late 2010 releases, Oscar winners The King's Speech and Black Swan, 2011 moviegoers continue to ignore dramas about human relationships. At no. 20, Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz is the sole drama – outside the action/thriller/horror genres – among the year's top 25 releases.

In North America, Water for Elephants has taken in $54.4 million after five weeks. Internationally, the $38 million-budgeted circus drama has just passed the $50 million milestone after adding $3.7 million this weekend as per The Hollywood Reporter. Total to date: $50.7 million. Water for Elephants has thus passed the $100 million milestone, cuming at $105.1 million worldwide.

As of May 22, Water for Elephants' top overseas markets were: Australia with $6.85 million, Germany with $5.75 million, France with $5.39 million, the United Kingdom with $5.19 million, and Mexico with $2.73 million. The film also earned more than $1 million in Brazil (up to May 15), Italy (despite a slow start), Russia/CIS, Spain, and Sweden.

For comparison's sake: Reese Witherspoon's previous star vehicle, James L. Brooks' $120 million comedy How Do You Know, collected only $30 million in the U.S. and Canada and $17.49 million internationally earlier this year. Its top foreign markets were Germany ($3.11 million), Australia ($2.73 million), and Spain ($1.62m).

Robert Pattinson's previous non-Twilight Saga vehicle, the low-budget ($16m) romantic drama Remember Me, went on to gross $19 million in North America and $36.96 million internationally in 2010. Remember Me's top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($5.49 million), France ($3.53 million), and Russia/CIS ($3.48m).

I should add that the only other dramas outside the thriller/horror/action-adventure genres to be found on the North American Top 50 box office chart are Soul Surfer (#28) with $41.28 million and The Conspirator (#49) with $11.16 million. Jane Eyre is #51, with $10.67 million.

Box office info: Box Office Mojo

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

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5 Comments to Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon 'Water for Elephants' $100M Worldwide

  1. zac


    Your info is partly incorrect:

    The 55% “average” from domestic grosses is correct.
    The 40% “average” from foreign grosses is correct.

    The studios get about 40% (this is a “loose” average) of their films' grosses outside North America. So, where did you get that 15%?

    If studios only got 15% of their films' grosses overseas, a) they wouldn't bother releasing their films abroad b) they wouldn't make movies such as IRON MAN II, THOR, FAST FIVE, and ON STRANGER TIDES c) they'd have gone broke a long time ago.

    I also don't know where you found that “perspective” that WATER FOR ELEPHANTS needs $110m “to cover the cost of the film.” Even if Fox spent another $38m plugging/distributing WFE, that would total $76m.

    WATER FOR ELEPHANTS will quite likely end up making money for the studio once ancillary revenues (both domestic and abroad) are factored in. It's DEFINITELY no flop.

  2. Marie

    Three days ago I researched the difference between domestic sales and foreign sales. The domestic market makes about 55% back for the studio. The foreign market makes about 40% and then the studio will only make 15% of that. To put this in perspective Water For Elephants needed to make 110 million to cover the cost of the film. Not a profit just cover it. So far domestically WFE has made 55 mil domestically which is only 30 mil for the studio and foreign sales of 48 mil which means less than 3 mil for the studio. That's 33 mil WFE has made when it needed to make 110mil. This was a major failure for Robert and Reese. It might be a movie that some went to see that isn't a drama but that is the only recognition the money shows. A studio that loses 77 million on a movie can't call it a success!

  3. MJ

    Thank you :)

  4. zac


    Thanks for the reminder. The post has been amended.

  5. MJ

    You forgot to mention that Remember Me budget was only $16M.