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Universal Takes Writedown on ‘47 Ronin’

Japanese sword and sorcery film cost a reported $175 million, but is heading towards a $17-$20 million opening over the five-day Christmas holiday period.

Universal Pictures has taken unspecified write-downs for its $175 million, Keanu Reeves film 47 Ronin that opened on Christmas Day, according to a report by Reuters.

The film, a fantasy action film about a group of samurai in 18th century Japan, opened Christmas Day in the U.S. with $7 million, finishing sixth. Internationally, the film has opened in 14 territories for a total of $10 million through Wednesday.

47 Ronin is expected to gross between $17 million and $20 million for the five-day Christmas Day holiday period through Sunday, December 29, well below 50 percent of the film’s production costs.

“Universal Pictures regularly evaluates its film slate for potential adjustment,” a Universal official reportedly 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. The studio is finishing third in overall U.S. box office with more than $1.4 billion in grosses, trailing Warner Bros. and Disney.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.