Dragon Tattoo Is A Loss For MGM

Despite a $231 million global haul, David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” adaptation is being written off as a loss for MGM reports Deadline.

MGM Holdings CEO Gary Barber says that the movie, which they co-financed, performed “below our expectations and we booked a modest loss.” While he didn’t disclose how much of a loss, Barber said executives at the company “were hoping we’d do 10% more than we did.”

What does this mean for the fate of the two other films in the series? MGM has an option to co-finance the next films and is talking to Sony about following through, but only “assuming we can achieve better economics.”

The big issue with ‘Tattoo’ isn’t the performance, which is actually impressive considering the runtime and subject matter, rather it’s the cost. The notoriously meticulous Fincher created the film for $90 million, a rather considerable sum for an R-rated adult mystery thriller along with an expensive high-profile P&A campaign to promote it.

Had the film been made for half the amount and with a tighter (ie. cheaper) marketing campaign, the sequels would likely be much further along by now.

All this follows on from the announcement on Monday when The Walt Disney Company revealed they expected to book a loss of $200 million on its big-budget 3D “John Carter” tentpole movie in the quarter through March.

The company made the announcement in a statement which also confirmed the Mouse House’s studio division would report an overall operating loss of $80 million to $120 million in the fiscal quarter ending March 31st.