Shadow Conspiracy

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  • Directed By: George P. Cosmatos
  • Written By: Adi Hasak, Ric Gibbs
  • Release Date: January 31, 1997
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney (Hollywood Pictures)
  • Cast: Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland, Linda Hamilton, Ben Gazzara

Box Office Info:
Budget: $37 million Financed by: Cinergi Pictures; Disney
Domestic Box Office: $2,312,463 Overseas Box Office: N/A

Shadow Conspiracy was developed at the Disney based Cinergi, which equally co-financed this turkey with the mouse house.  The net budget for Shadow Conspiracy was $37 million (see Cinergi’s financial records — page 95).  Disney handled domestic distribution duties and Cinergi tapped Summit to handle international sales to distributors, which began at the 1995 American Film Market.  Cinergi’s go-to director  George P. Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Cobra) was signed to helm this garbage after he was tasked by the company to oversee directing duties midway through the troubled production of Tombstone (1993) and then he handled some additional footage for Color Of Night (1994), which was being butchered by Cinergi CEO Andrew G. Vajna.  Shadow Conspiracy was Cosmatos’ final movie.

Shadow Conspiracy was the second Cinergi co-production to topline Charlie Sheen after the flop Terminal Velocity (1994) and his other recent vehicles were complete non-performers — The Arrival (1996) and The Chase (1994).

Filming was completed in mid 1995 and the picture was expected to land a release in 1996, but Disney moved this stinker to the dumping ground on January 31, 1997.  It was positioned as counter-programming to the re-release of Star Wars and also bowed against the low budget films Gridlock’d and Meet Wally Sparks.  Shadow Conspiracy was given a scaled back release by Disney, which booked it into only 837 theatres and buzz was non-existent.  Co-star Linda Hamilton would also be on screens the following weekend in the big budget Dante’s Peak.

Reviews were atrocious, most of which proclaimed the movie as unintentionally hilarious and it corpsed at the box office with $1,370,831 — placing #16 for the weekend led by Star Wars.  It plummeted a massive 72% to $384,106 in its second frame and was quickly pulled from release with only $2,312,463.  Overseas numbers are not available.

After the dismal failure of Shadow Conspiracy, Cinergi sold off their library of movies to Disney and ceased any further investments into productions.  Cinergi was expected to write-off their entire investment into Shadow Conspiracy and they had never recovered from the poor performances of their 1995 releases Judge Dredd, Nixon and The Scarlet Letter.  The final two projects from Cinergi and Disney that were already underway when the company began their closure were Deep Rising and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn.

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