Blu-Ray Releases for March 22, 2016
MGM contributed 60% of the expensive budget, reported to be just under $80 million and Hyde Park Entertainment co-financed. MGM sold off some overseas territories, which would help limit their exposure to the pricey pic. MGM held 1,000 sneak previews the week before its release to build word of mouth and Bandits was tracking for an opening in the $20 million range. Opening wide in 3,207 theaters, Bandits came in way below expectations at $13,050,700 — placing #2 for the weekend led by holdover Training Day. MGM’s head of distribution, Robert Levin blamed the poor opening over anthrax scares and government murmurings of terrorist attacks. Not blamed was the poor marketing which never made it clear if this was a comedy or drama and these threats didn’t stop Training Day from becoming a hit. Bandits had a modest 36.4% second frame decline to $8,304,007 and continued to have respectable weekly drops, but its final cume was a disappointing $41,575,141. MGM would see back about $22.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their expensive P&A spend. Bandits fared even worse overseas, posting a terrible $26,056,762 gross. MGM posted a $16 million quarter loss, after the success of Legally Blonde and Jeepers Creepers was offset by the poor theatrical receipts and expensive marketing of Bandits and Original Sin.
MGM financed this Dana Carvey vehicle for $18 million and was the first release of a high profile slate of movies under the new management of MGM and newly appointed chairman Frank Mancuso. Clean slate was to be released in May, Getting Even With Dad (flop) in June and Blown Away (flop) in July. Clean Slate opened against 3 Ninjas Kick Back and the Robin Williams disaster that Warner Bros dumped in limited release Being Human. The pic pulled in a miserable $3,136,130 — placing #4 over a very, very slow weekend, which was led by holdover With Honors which only grossed $3.7 million. Clean Slate declined 52.2% the following weekend to $1,498,602 and bombed out of release with just $7,355,425. Every MGM production in 1994 was a box office flop and their only success was an acquisition which they didn’t buy the video rights for — Stargate.
MGM financed Disturbing Behavior for an estimated $15 million and Australia based Village Roadshow acquired worldwide distribution rights to the pic outside of the US for $5 million. Disturbing Behavior tested poorly and after numerous screenings, MGM began to whittle away at the running time, even at one point in the testing process, slicing the film down to 72 minutes. Part way through the testing, MGM removed director David Nutter from editing and put George Folsey Jr., MGM’s vice president of production editing in charge of the slicing and dicing. What was left was a film that the director publicly acknowledged as butchered by the studio and was critically destroyed. MGM originally slated the release for August 7, but then Dimension Films scheduled Halloween H2O on that date and MGM pushed the release forward to July 24, where it would open against Saving Private Ryan and the spoof Mafia!. After an aggressive marketing push trying to court similar auds that made Scream a runaway hit, Disturbing Behavior opened with a disappointing $7,007,714 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Saving Private Ryan and The Mask Of Zorro. Despite being test screened to death by the studio, the audience response was toxic and it received a C- cinemascore. Predictably, it declined a steep 57.7% the following weekend to $2,966,617 and sank 71% in frame three to $872,46 and promptly lost most of its theater count. Disturbing Behavior closed with $17,514,980. In its third quarter filing report, MGM wrote-off $20 million in expected losses from Disturbing Behavior and posted $53.6 million in losses from the combined three quarters, mostly attributed to this picture, Dirty Work and Species 2.
After receiving an Oscar nomination and seeing box office success for The Rose (1979), Bette Midler handpicked veteran director Don Siegel to helm Jinxed and the two clashed throughout this nightmare production. Midler also handpicked legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond to lens the pic and made his job difficult and chose Ken Wahl to be her co-star and the two hated each other. Producer Herb Jaffe, who despised Midler and was sidelined by MGM who gave into her demands, said the miserable production actually came in two days ahead of schedule and $125,000 below its $13,443,000 budget. Critics destroyed Jinxed and it was a major box office disaster, opening with $1,209,311 — placing #7 for the weekend led by new openers First Blood and Halloween III: Season Of The Witch. Jinxed! sank 57.5% the following weekend to $513,739 and closed it run with only $2,869,638. This was Don Siegel’s last film. Bette Midler didn’t appear on screen again until 1986 when she rebounded with numerous Disney productions, beginning with Down And Out In Beverly Hills and Ruthless People.