Moore than usual

Sicko took in a modest $4.5 million in its first weekend, a bit under some of the wilder predictions, but still within the Exhibitor Relations Top Ten (at #9). On the other hand, it’s not like Michael Moore spent Jerry Bruckheimer-level money on it, and apparently Moore, or at least his agent, is one sharp negotiator:

Moore’s agent, Ari Emanuel at Endeavor, negotiated one hell of a deal with the Weinstein Co. for his client. Moore is in line to receive 50 percent of Sicko’s gross profits (that’s after the theater owner collect their take of ticket sales), arguably one of Hollywood’s most lucrative deals for a filmmaker. To put it in perspective, it’s well beyond the cut that Tom Cruise used to receive in his heyday on films (and big-name actor deals are usually much richer than directors, but Moore obviously works both in front and behind the camera).

But the place where Moore’s deal is most noteworthy is in his DVD take. A-list actors and directors usually get a small slice of the proceeds, which is taken from only 20 percent of the total DVD revenue (the studio would hold back the other 80 percent). These numbers have pretty much been sacrosanct in Hollywood for years and have allowed the studios to recoup any theatrical losses with their homevid take. But in Moore’s deal, he’ll be receiving 50 percent of all DVD revenues.

According to traditional Hollywood accounting, if you get profit points at all, they’re out of the net, after every conceivable cost has been deducted. Moore’s getting gross points, most likely more than enough to constitute what some of us in different walks of life used to call FYM. He says so himself:

Nothing can ever be held over my head in the sense of “If you don’t do this, we won’t give you your money!”

Which is an exceedingly comfortable position to be in.


  1. ms7168 »

    3 July 2007 · 9:11 pm

    How many screens total? One must take that into account as well. Remember he had NONE here. AMC has it now though but they are the only one.

  2. CGHill »

    3 July 2007 · 10:25 pm

    That $4.5 million was earned from 441 screens, for a per-screen average of $10,207, the second-highest among films screening last weekend. (Ratatouille was higher: $11,935. And it was on 3900 screens. Numbers from Box Office Mojo.)

  3. Brett »

    3 July 2007 · 10:53 pm

    You know, that information gives me another very good reason to skip the movie, in theaters or otherwise. I don’t want to increase Mr. Moore’s alienation from the working-class joe he argues himself to be and to represent by giving him more money.

  4. Jeffro »

    4 July 2007 · 11:57 am

    I’m not as nice as Brett – I don’t want to save MM from himself. I just don’t want to give him any of my money.

  5. ron »

    5 July 2007 · 9:30 am

    I caught the SICKO flick at the Circle in Tulsa. Its a good film with just enough panicky edge to make it Michael Moore :) All in all I liked Fahrenheit 911 a lot better but this one is doable :) Some funny, funny humor…

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