'Sahara' is a 2005 action-comedy adventure film directed by Breck Eisner and based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.
Though it opened at number one in the US box office, grossing $18 million on its first weekend, Sahara is considered to be one of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history since Ishtar. From a financial perspective, Sahara was unusual because it performed reasonably well, generating $122 million in gross box-office sales. However, the movie was beset by high costs, including $160 million in production costs and $81.1 million in distribution expenses. The film lost approximately $105 million according to a financial executive assigned to the movie; however, Hollywood accounting methods assign losses at $78.3 million, taking into account projected revenue. According to Hollywood accounting, the film drew in revenue of $202.9 million against expenses of $281.2 million.
The Los Angeles Times presented an extensive special report on April 15 2007, dissecting the budget of Sahara as an example of how Hollywood movies can cost so much to produce and fail; many of the often closely-held documents had become public domain after a lawsuit involving the film.