The Manchurian Candidate
|Budget: $80 million||Financed by: Paramount|
|Domestic Gross: $65,955,630||Domestic Distributor: Paramount|
|Overseas Gross: $30,150,334|
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Produced by: Scott Rudin
Paramount financed this remake of the 1962 John Frankenheimer classic of the same name for $80 million and was hoping the 2004 presidential election would help bolster sales due to its subject matter. The Manchurian Candidate opened July 30 as summer counter-programming for adults, against The Village (also produced by Scott Rudin), Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and the disaster Thunderbirds. It was in direct competition with The Village and the second weekend of The Bourne Supremacy. Paramount booked the pic in 2,867 theaters and it opened within expectations at $20,018,620 — placing #3 for the weekend led by The Village and Bourne. The Manchurian Candidate did not have the legs it needed to carry it to profit and it declined 48.8% the following weekend to $10,256,421. It closed its run with a mediocre $65,955,630 but the film was a dud overseas, where it need a healthy gross to pull up its domestic numbers. The overseas cume was just $30,150,334 bringing the worldwide total to $96.1 million, leaving Paramount with about $52.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their P&A expenses, or any of the production costs. Another Frankenheimer remake (Seconds) was being pushed into development at Paramount around the time of this film’s release, but never got off the ground after The Manchurian Candidate underperformed. Manchurian was one of three high profile 2004 remakes at Paramount which all flopped — the other two were Alfie and The Stepford Wives. Paramount was in a three year slump and the 2004 slate of pictures were mostly bombs and on November 2 studio head Sherry Lansing announced she would soon exit her post after 12 years on the job. Producer Scott Rudin saw three Paramount titles do poor box office in 2004: The Manchurian Candidate, The Stepford Wives and Team America: World Police.