He Got Game
- Directed By: Spike Lee
- Written By: Spike Lee
- Release Date: May 1, 1998
- Domestic Distributor: Disney (Touchstone)
- Cast: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich, Rosario Dawson
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: Disney|
|Domestic Gross: $21,567,853||Overseas Gross: $844,095|
Spike Lee tried to mount the He Got Game production at Sony, where he had a first-look deal with the studio that began in 1995 — but after his acclaimed Get On The Bus (1996) was a low box office earner, Sony passed on He Got Game. Lee then took the project over to Disney. The budget for He Got Game was $25 million and Disney fully financed. After he completed Game, Spike Lee moved onto the production of Summer Of Sam (1999), which was also financed by the mouse house.
Disney dated the domestic release for May 1, 1998 and just two months before He Got Game was set to open, the mouse house unceremoniously dumped the overseas rights. Disney’s Buena Vista Intl. put the rights onto the market, under the usual fatuous notion that movies with a black cast won’t do business offshore. Sales to distributors kicked off at the American Film Market.
He Got Game bowed against Les Misérables and Black Dog. Reviews were positive and He Got Game won the very slow weekend with a soft $7,610,663. Any chance of the picture breaking out ended the following weekend when it collapsed 51.2% to $3,710,911. The domestic run closed with only $21,567,853. Disney would see returned about $11.8M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover P&A expenses or any of the budget.
Denzel Washington hit a box office rough patch in 1998 — first was Fallen in January and then He Got Game and then the expensive The Siege disappointed in November.
He Got Game landed a miniscule theatrical release in a few overseas markets, which cumed all of $844,095.