Metallica at $15 Million Loss With 'Through the Never' After Three Weeks

Film scores concert movie records, but flops in general.

Ultimate Guitar

After its third weekend in theaters, Metallica's "Through the Never" 3D film earned just over $3.1 million at domestic box offices, turning the movie into a major financial loss for the band. Although Box Office Mojo info doesn't include foreign box offices data, the initial budget of $18 million makes Metallica around $15 million short from breaking even. With $1.67 million first-weekend earnings, the movie scored highest concert film earnings in IMAX history. As Metal Sucks reports, the given amount also doesn't cover the promotional spending, which often doubles the basic budget. So according to the same source, it cost the band around $36 million for the movie to make the market, which is over 10 times its total gross so far. But whichever the case might be, Metallica was likely expecting it. Band members themselves have mentioned that they'd be lucky to break even on numerous occasions, with frontman James Hetfield jokingly saying that some of the movie bills will be passed down to their children. "I think nowadays in media it's very much, 'What did it cost? What did they get back? Was it a success? Was it a failure?'" drummer Lars Ulrich told the Quietus. "It's slightly more complicated than that, and that kind of breaking it down to absolutes really doesn't interest me." "Through the Never" was premiered in IMAX theaters on September 27 and then rolled out to regular 3D cinemas on October 4. Do you see this as a clear flop or are there other nuances that should be taken into consideration? Let us know in the comments.

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    As long as the musical performance itself was good I'm not phased at all. Nor does Metallica seem phased either. They had the money and low expectations, still made a good show/movie? All that matters to me personally. Just my opinion.
    Actually, it's totally justified.. If you consider the audience, there would be just a small fraction of the world's collection of Movie Buffs who like Metal as well.. Also there are normal metalheads who may have taken the effort to go to watch the movie.. But that's it. Other than this minority, not many others can actually appreciate the movie.. But I'm sure given time, it will make up the difference...
    It was okay. I was at the filming and a lot of retries were required, especially for Lars. He dumbed down some of his own material, too, but sonically it was fine despite that.
    Saw the film a few days ago. I think it is very cool. In my opinion, the biggest problem is the price for the theatre. I had to pay 16€ (~20$). If it were a little bit cheaper, I would see it twice
    wow 16 € ? Ive payd 9 € and that even that was too much, regular IMAX movies in 3D cost 6 € around here, this was exception, dont know why... but 16 € ? where are you from ?
    yeah, i payed around 14€, but have to say it was worth every cent.
    nah that's just pocket change to them
    Sammy Mantis
    I'm sure it won't break their banks, but no one is going to be happy about being 15 million in the red, no matter how much money you have. Hopefully this sends a message to the boys in Metallica.
    Carl Hungus
    It will eventually make its money back. Its just going to take a few years. If they own the distribution rights, which I believe they do, then 100% of the Blu Ray and DVD sales will go to them. This movie could have a second life on video.
    A message to do what? "Sell out" and make albums with mass-market appeal?
    Metallica has mass market appeal. They're the biggest band in rock/metal.
    to make some decent music again. I don't expect another master of puppets or another black album for that matter, nor do I expect metal from them, I just want some decent written music again.
    Are u implying death magnetic was a bad album and poorly written. If so sir you have NO idea what your talking about.
    Not surprised in the slightest...
    Wow kinda surprised, with all the hype surrounding this movie
    No surprise as people who listen to metal music are just a fraction of all listeners. Pair that with the fact that people who go to movies that might like metal are also a sub section of all movie buffs....should not be surprised...
    Can anyone tell me, what the hell was in that damned bag?!
    They'll make it up in DVD/ Blu-Ray Sales. I'm kinda surprised it wasn't a direct-to-dvd movie.
    Yep. According to wikipedia, S&M sold 600,000 DVDs in the US alone. They'll be making back their money.
    I saw the movie in the cinema. If you don't have a 3D home cinema at home I don't see much of a point in getting a DVD/Blu-ray. P.S. The movie is awesome on the big screen, go watch it, now!
    This might be me personally, but going to see a movie about a band feels kinda odd, even if the tickets are a few bucks and you couldnt make it to a show / none near you.Unless you manage to start a moshpit in the theater and get a whole crowd of people acting like their at a concert, sitting watching a screen with basically a 1 - 2 hr long music video with alot of people in a quite room seems a little weird
    If you're over 40 with a demanding job like my uncle, huge Metallica fan, you're not getting into any moshpits any time soon.
    Nero Galon
    Kinda this, might be me being traditional and conventional but I don't see it being a common thing in the future, especially if it isn't making profits.
    Saw it last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While they might take a loss, I applaud them for yet again taking a risk.
    I loved it. The concert parts were very well performed and recorded, and even though everyone hates hearing it, just sit back and take the story parts at face value. It was good ride.