|Budget: $85 million||Financed by: Helkon Media; Toho-Towa; Atlas Entertainment; MGM|
|Domestic Gross: $18,990,798||Domestic Distributor: MGM|
|Overseas Gross: $6,861,966||
Directed by: John McTiernan
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Produced by: Charles Roven
Director John McTiernan’s followup to his remake of Norman Jewison’s Thomas Crown Affair, is the ill-fated fiasco Rollerball, also a remake of the 1975 Norman Jewison film. German based Helkon Media co-financed the $85 million pic with Japan’s Toho-Towa, Atlas Entertainment and MGM. Helkon pre-sold the film, which would limit the financiers exposure to the costs and spread the pain across many distributors. After release delays and reshoots and trimming the gory violence and nudity to a more family friendly rating, Rollerball was released with some of the worst reviews and a torrent of pre-release negativity. Even Universal succeeded in having a judge rule that having marketing material saying “From the creators of The Fast And The Furious” (co-writer John Pogue was a producer on The Fast And The Furious) was “irreparable injury” to the Fast brand. MGM opened Rollerball in the US and lost some of the action skewing demo to the delayed Schwarzenegger movie Collateral Damage and it pulled in a terrible $9,013,548 in 2,762 theaters. It placed #3 for the weekend. Rollerball dropped 56.2% in its second frame to $3,946,661 when MGM added the Bruce Willis actioner Hart’s War to the marketplace and it collapsed 70% in its third frame to $1,184,806 and the expensive film was out of release with $18,990,798. MGM would see back about $10.3 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, leaving much of their P&A spend in the red. A few weeks after the pic opened, MGM’s quarter shares dropped 37 cents a share — claiming their $90.8 million quarter loss was mostly attributed to the dismal performance of Rollerball and Hart’s War.
Rollerball was a disaster overseas, grossing $359,145 in the UK, $303,185 from a wide release in Germany and France posted the film’s highest gross with a poor $1,580,046. Co-financier Toho distributed in Japan to all of $190,627. The overseas cume was $6,861,966. As if Rollerball wasn’t enough of a humiliating stain on director John McTiernan’s resume, he also was sent to prison for his role in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandal, when he hired him to investigate Rollerball producer Charles Roven over disagreements on the film.