Auditing the Blockbuster Flop ‘Sahara’

When we saw Sahara I didn’t quite get why it was so heavily promoted (we’d rented it). It just seemed so mediocre.

Ten screenwriters were paid $3.8 million.

$160-million production and $81.1 million in distribution expenses.

16 “gratuity” or “courtesy” payments were made throughout Morocco. Six of the expenditures were “local bribes” in the amount of 65,000 dirham, or $7,559.

script changes to accommodate DaimlerChrysler because the German-American carmaker negotiated to have its Jeep trucks featured in the film. “You can’t have the truck get almost stuck,”

director Breck Eisner expressed concern during development of the film about problems with another sequence involving a four-wheel-drive truck, Baldwin wrote in a memo, “Can’t cut it. Jeep to pay 3 million.

“Need the tequila and beer scenes at some point as it means a lot of dollars (2 million from Souza and 3 from Heineken).”

There was no independent safety officer on hand during the filming of “Sahara” to monitor the treatment of more than 100 camels, horses, donkeys and other animals. That’s because producers of the $160-million movie opted not to pay a $30 hourly rate plus travel and other expenses

McConaughey’s persistence paid off. He received an $8-million actor’s fee and $833,923 in what the budget called “star perks.” His company was paid $250,000 for his role as an executive producer.

“Using Penelope means we have significantly more money to spend on the screen,” producer Karen Baldwin said in an internal e-mail. That’s because hiring the Spanish actress (Hayek is Mexican) helped “Sahara” qualify for $20.4 million in cash incentives to film in Europe.

How could a no-name director be trusted with such a massive budget? The punchline:

That would be because the director is Michael Eisner’s son.

One thought on “Auditing the Blockbuster Flop ‘Sahara’

Comments are closed.