• hush 1998 box office
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  • Directed By: Jonathan Darby
  • Written By: Jonathan Darby, Jane Rusconi
  • Release Date: March 6, 1998
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony (TriStar)
  • Cast: Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech

Box Office Info:
Budget: $21 million Financed by: Sony
Domestic Gross: $13,583,690 Overseas Gross: $5,400,000

“I’ve never been able to keep my mouth shut.  So if somebody asks me how I feel about Hush, I’ll say it’s a piece of shit.”
Jessica Lange

The budget for Hush was $21 million and fully financed by Sony TriStar.   The picture was originally completed in 1996 and Hush was set for a release in 1997, but the movie was a disaster and Sony tried to salvage this unintentionally campy schlock.  The response at test screenings was atrocious and the movie underwent at least two major reshoots and three titles.  The belated reshoots were also after Gwyneth Paltrow had cut her hair for other productions, so they put a wig on her that did not even properly fit or resemble her hair from earlier scenes — which just added more unintentional hilarity to this D grade picture.

After much tinkering, Hush was eventually unleashed by Sony on March 6, 1998.  It bowed against U.S. Marshals, Twilight and The Big Lebowski.  The reviews pegged the movie as one of the worst of 1998.  Hush opened with a poor $5,742,431 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the 12th frame of Titanic.  It declined 43.8% to $3,228,841 the following weekend and then sank 61.3% to $1,250,392 in its third session.  The domestic run closed with just $13,583,690.  Sony would see returned about $7.4M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which leaves much of the P&A costs in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

Overseas numbers were just $5.4M and Sony dumped Hush straight to video in the UK and Germany.  This was the first and last movie directed by Jonathan Darby.


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  1. You ladies nailed it. I would like to know why Paltrow is soooo skinny, that doesn’t take away the movie has relevant content. Worth watching.

  2. Hush is one of my favorite movies. I have never forgotten the charactors or the storyline and often look for it to watch again. I find the content of this article surprising. Are movies just about money and does the box office reflect what is most liked? I’ll continue to remember it for all its tender moments and suspense and watch it again.

    • Me too!!! I’m stunned to read this! I love this movie and I also look for it from time to time. I don’t get why it was panned by critics. I also don’t get why Jessica Lange herself calls it a piece of sh**. Whatever their opinion of it, I (we) appreciate it and love when I get to watch it.

  3. One of the funniest films from this year! High camp; too bad the direction s so dull that after an hour even the funny bits get drowned out by the tedium. This is the kind of movie that tries to build suspense by having every character act as stupid and inattentive to the obvious as possible. Jessica Lange does a lot of eye-rolliing, neck-straining and incessant smoking as the wealthy gargoyle mother who has it in for innocent dumbbell daughter in law Gwyneth Paltrow. Jonathan Schaech plays a piece of wood who occasionally stumbles into a scene with other characters. You know Lange s supposed to be evil because she smokes, drinks and has an inexplicable Southern accent (in upstate New York?). The film sports two endings (don t worry, no spoilers here!!!), the first of which is guffaw-inducing just because it s medically not possible, and a final showdown which is incredibly dull and comes out of nowhere. Lots of bad dialogue and far-fetched plot developments carry the viewer to the bitter end. Allegedly this film was held up for massive re-shoots and edits for a whole year. One hopes for a director s cut just so we can see what could have been even worse than this hilarious nonsense. Recommended!!!

    • That movie was classicly and pleasantly intriquing. Jessica Lange has the range to make that a cult classic. Just observing a pathological liar played so well is incredibly entertaining. There are many people like that in this world and to capture it so specifically on film is noteworthy of the talent of Jessica Lange. Lange is a supreme in the world of convincing truth with the skills of acting. It does not register as anything other than exceptional just like all of her body of work. She went beyond what supplies she was provided. My family and I love the film. It keeps us grounded. Well done. Lange did not hold back and is the only reason the film is a classic.

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