- Directed By: Christopher Guest
- Written By: Mark Nutter, Thomas R. Wolfe, Boyd Hale
- Release Date: May 29, 1998
- Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
- Cast: Chris Farley, Matthew Perry, Eugene Levy
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $30 million (estimated)||Financed by: Turner Pictures|
|Domestic Gross: $6,136,856||Overseas Gross: $0|
In October 1995, Turner Pictures announced their rookie slate of pictures and Almost Heroes was one of their first inaugural productions. The script was well received in the industry as an unproduced screenplay, but as it went through development, much (if not all) of the quality was whittled away. The screenplay was an ensemble piece, but once Chris Farley and Matthew Perry were attached as the leads, most of the side characters were reduced or eliminated to focus on Farley’s schtick. The budget for Almost Heroes was an estimated $30 million, with Farley landing a $6M payday. Turner Pictures fully financed.
Fresh off of the low-budget mockumentary Waiting For Guffman (1996), Christopher Guest signed on as director and Almost Heroes would mark his first mainstream studio project. This complete creative misfire would also mark his last foray into studio filmmaking.
Almost Heroes began production in July 1996 and a mid-1997 release was planned. With Farley in and out of rehab and relapsing frequently with his additions, filming was reportedly incident free, as he was required to be constantly monitored for insurance purposes. In late October 1996, Ted Turner’s media empire was given the legal go ahead to be acquired by Time Warner and all of Turner’s operations were folded into Warner Bros. During the merger, Almost Heroes was pushed back to 1998 and in December 1997, Farley overdosed and died.
The movie was eventually dated for April 1998 and then moved to May 1 and finally shifted to May 29, 1998. Warner Bros did not bother to screen this turkey for critics and the reviews that eventually posted were awful. It bowed against Hope Floats and I Got The Hook Up! and was booked wide into 2,048 theaters, where it was dead on arrival with $2,837,928. At the time of release, this was the 4th worst opening on record for a movie playing in over 2,000 theaters. Almost Heroes placed #7 for the weekend led by the holdover Godzilla. Those that showed up gave the movie a hateful C- cinemascore and the picture sank 66.3% to $956,810 the following weekend and then it promptly lost most of its theater count. The domestic run closed with just $6,136,856.
Warner Bros dumped Almost Heroes straight to video overseas.