Switchback

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    [Total: 6 Average: 2.7]
    • Directed By: Jeb Stuart
    • Written By: Jeb Stuart
    • Release Date: Oct 31, 1997
    • Domestic Distributor: Paramount
    • Cast: Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, William Fichtner, Jared Leto

Box Office Info:
Budget: $37 millionFinanced by: Rysher
Domestic Gross: $6,492,660Overseas Gross: N/A

switchback 1997
Before screenwriter Jeb Stuart landed major commercial success with his scripts for Die Hard and The Fugitive, he wrote Switchback in a college workshop program.  In 1985 he landed an agent at ICM because of the screenplay and it was quickly optioned by producer Mark Tarloff at Columbia.  Stuart landed $10,000 and $35,000 for a second draft and then a set of rewrites.  Thomas Carter was tapped to direct and Robert Duvall, Sidney Poitier and Kevin Bacon were set to star, but the project was put into turnaround in 1986 and remained dormant for a decade.

Switchback was resurrected as Stuart’s directorial debut and the project was set up at Rysher.  After half a century in television, Rysher Entertainment went big screen in the late 90s and after three years of unprofitable pictures, the film division was shuttered three months before Switchback was released.  Rysher had invested nearly $400M into their burgeoning movie business and the returns were disastrous.  Rysher kicked off 1997 with their big budget turkey Turbulence, which ended as their biggest bomb and it’s huge loss was one of the main reasons the Rysher film division was soon shuttered.  The budget for Switchback was $37 million and it was fully financed by Rysher.  The picture went out stateside through Paramount.

Paramount first planned on a December 1996 release, but pushed it back to summer ’97 and then delayed it to the Halloween frame.  With Rysher now out of the movie business, Paramount had two leftovers from the company — A Smile Like Yours and Switchback, both of which were dumped.

Switchback landed poor reviews, had no bankable actors and a muted marketing campaign.  It bowed against Red Corner and the wide expansion of Boogie Nights.  It was dead on arrival with $2,704,568 — placing #8 for the weekend led by the holdover I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Switchback declined 47.9% to $1,409,611 in its second frame and quickly flopped out of theaters with just $6,492,660.

Switchback had a small theatrical run in a few markets overseas, but numbers are not available.  It went straight to video in the UK.

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