47 Ronin: Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures Writes Down Keanu Reeves's Big-Budget, Long-Delayed Film

  @suman09s.varandani@ibtimes.com on December 26 2013 12:53 AM
Keanu Reeves
Host and producer Keanu Reeves participates in a panel for the documentary "Side by Side" during the PBS sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 6, 2013. Reuters/Phil McCarten

According to reports, Comcast Corporation’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal Pictures has taken an unspecified write-down on its long-delayed film “47 Ronin” starring Keanu Reeves with a $175 million budget, which hit theaters on Christmas Day.

Hollywood experts have forecast a weak showing for “47 Ronin,” expecting it to gross between $17 million and $20 million during the holiday period through Dec. 29, as Hollywood closes out the year with other big-budget films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” a Universal official told Reuters. “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.”

“47 Ronin’’ is a fantasy action film set in eighteenth-century Japan about a part-Japanese former slave, played by Reeves, who joins a band of outcast samurai to seek vengeance for the killing of their master.

The film, which reportedly cost $175 million to make, was initially scheduled to be released in Nov. 2012. Its release was moved to Feb. 2013 because of unfinished work on its 3D visuals, before it was further pushed to eventually release on Christmas Day.

Universal has had a record year at the box office in 2013 according to reports, with hits that included “Despicable me 2” and “Fast & Furious 6.” Both films crossed the $2 billion mark in international ticket sales for the first time in the studio's 101-year history.

And, according to Box Office Mojo, Universal had its best year in its domestic market as well, with $1.4 billion in North American film sales, standing third behind Warner Brothers and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). 

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