The Adventures Of Pluto Nash
|Budget: $100 million||Financed by: Castle Rock; Village Roadshow|
|Domestic Gross: $4,420,080||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $2,683,893||
Directed by: Ron Underwood
Produced by: Martin Bregman
The Adventures Of Pluto Nash had been in development since the 1980s and after being rewritten to death the film finally went into production and emerged as one of the most notorious box office and critical failures. Pluto Nash was set up at Castle Rock, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros and Universal was set to co-finance the picture and wisely dropped it and parent company Warner Bros took on distribution duties. After striking gold with The Matrix, Village Roadshow decided to infuse a billion dollars into a slate of 40 Warner Bros productions and boarded the doomed Pluto Nash as co-financier. Pluto Nash went into production with a budget that was estimated to be around $80 million in 2000 and after terrible test screenings the film was delayed from April 2001 and underwent costly reshoots that sent the budget to at least $100 million. By the time the film was finished, Pluto Nash had a tidal wave of bad publicity behind it and Warner Bros shifted Pluto Nash’s release date away from Murphy’s Showtime, which Warners expected to do solid business. Warner Bros finally unloaded the delayed Pluto Nash August 16 2002 without screening the film for critics and Murphy declined to be involved in any publicity and the with all the negativity going into release, the picture practically dared audiences to buy a ticket. Pluto Nash did have a solid domestic P&A spend behind it, with estimates around $20 million and as high as $30 million and it was an instant disaster, pulling in $2,182,900 in 2,320 theaters. It placed #10 for the weekend led by XXX in its second frame. The few people that showed up gave the film a terrible C- cinemascore and predictably Pluto Nash tumbled a huge 70.8% in its second frame to $636,904 and promptly lost most of its theater count. It closed its domestic run with only $4,420,080 returning about $2.4 million to Warner Bros after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover the cost of striking release prints for theaters.
Pluto Nash was dumped overseas where it grossed a mere $2,683,893 and went straight to video in most smaller markets. Ron Underwood, the once promising director of Tremors and City Slickers saw his career derailed from this fiasco and would end up directing a slew of made for TV movies and helmed the Usher vehicle and theatrical flop In The Mix a few years later. Eddie Murphy also had Showtime and I Spy flop in 2002. In an investor relations report, Village Roadshow saw their massive profits from the Matrix franchise cut in half from the awful numbers The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Dreamcatcher, Analyze That and Eight Legged Freaks pulled in.