Blu-Ray Releases for May 10, 2016
Partly because of the growth of the VHS ancillary market, CBS decided to get back into the theatrical business after closing down their previous failed film production unit, Cinema Center Films in 1972. Back Roads was their first production and was budgeted at $8 million. Both Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones disliked each other on set and according to director Martin Ritt, the film’s failure was from their behavior and the script. Back Roads was distributed by Warner Bros and opened against the Tobe Hooper horror pic The Funhouse and won the weekend with $3,046,339 but the pic closed its theatrical run with $11,809,387. Four years and seven flops later CBS merged their theatrical division with their Worldwide Enterprises unit.
The Manhattan Project was financed for $18 million by Thorn EMI and the newly launched Gladden, which this was its first production. Gladden founder David Begelman was the notorious Columbia chairman in the 70’s who was caught forging actor Cliff Robertson’s name on a $10,000 check and other actors and also embezzled $21,000 from the studio. Gladden had a distribution deal with FOX and every film they released, with the exception of Mannequin and Weekend At Bernie’s, was a box office flop. The Manhattan Project was part of FOX’s summer slate of sci-fi/fantasy films, which kicked off with the flops SpaceCamp and Big Trouble In Little China and the successful Aliens and The Fly. The Manhattan Project opened against Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Back To School and pulled in a terrible $1,503,545 — placing #9 for the weekend led by Back To School. The film quickly vanished from theaters with only $3,900,000.