The strangest thing happened last summer when Entertainment Studios’ Freestyle Media acquired Johannes Roberts‘ shark thriller 47 Meters Down just weeks before Dimension Films was to release on DVD and VOD platforms. The move was unheard of and could only be explained by the booming success of Jaume Collet-Serra‘s The Shallows just a month earlier, which went on to make $55M at the domestic box office.
What made the move even more bizarre was that press copies of the DVD release had already been sent out and the film had leaked all over the Internet. In fact, I had posted the first ever online review (when it was still titled In the Deep) exclaiming the film was “full of bite, and is vicious enough for the hardcore horror audience, while also providing an immense amount of thrills for everyone else.”
After nearly a year on the shelf, Entertainment Studios released 47 Meters Down on the very same weekend as the Blake Lively thriller The Shallows hoping for the same success. While it’s not on par with Sony’s big budget shark film, the gamble has paid off for 47 Meter Down. Early estimates peg the independent production’s opening weekend in the $11-12M range. While I wasn’t able to get a breakdown on the actual marketing spends, I am being told my insiders that this is nearly triple what the film was initially tracking! While big studio films are easier to break down financially, it’s very difficult with an indie production. My educated guess is that they spent somewhere between $5-12M on marketing, which would mean that the film would need to make somewhere between $10M and $20M to break even. Opening at $12M would suggest the full run could hit $25-30M. While 47 Meters Down may have opened at #4, this is a big win for an indie production that nearly was dumped on home video. Speaking of, this opening will most definitely help the film’s home video sales in addition to boosting its international value.
This excellent thriller that stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt (read our interview with both) who are trapped in a cage at the bottom of the ocean.
“On the rebound after a devastating break-up, Lisa (Many Moore) is ready for adventure while on vacation in Mexico. Even still, she needs a little extra persuasion when her daring sister Kate (Claire Holt) suggests they go shark diving with some locals. Once underwater in a protective cage, Lisa and Kate catch a once in a lifetime, face-to-face look at majestic Great Whites. But when their worst fears are realized and the cage breaks away from their boat, they find themselves plummeting to the bottom of the seabed, too deep to radio for help without making themselves vulnerable to the savage sharks, their oxygen supplies rapidly dwindling.”