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    [Total: 13 Average: 3.2]
  • Directed By: John Roberts
  • Written By: Laurie Craig
  • Release Date: April 17, 1998
  • Domestic Distributor: DreamWorks
  • Cast: Gena Rowlands, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin

Box Office Info:
Budget: $23 million Financed by: DreamWorks; Mutual Film Company; Tele München; BBC; Toho-Towa; UGC PH
Domestic Gross: $26,875,268 Overseas Gross: $4,440,773

paulie 1998
Paulie was developed at the newly formed Mutual Film Company, which partnered with the newly formed DreamWorks on the talking parrot project.  The budget for Paulie was $23 million and it was co-financed between the two companies, with DreamWorks taking domestic rights and Mutual owning the overseas rights.   Mutual had inked an equity and distribution arrangement with four overseas companies (Germany’s Tele München, UK based BBC, Japan’s Toho-Towa and France’s UGC PH), for their slate of movies and each would invest and distribute in their countries.  All other remaining markets would be pre-sold to distributors, limiting Mutual’s investment into the picture.  After a string of box office losers, The Relic, Paulie, A Simple Plan, Black Dog, Virus and Hard Rain, France’s UGC PH pulled out of the agreement with Mutual in 2000.

Paulie was the 4th release from DreamWorks and the mini-major first dated it for March 20, 1998 and then shifted it to April 17.  In September 1997, DreamWorks landed their first corporate tie-in for a movie — which was Subway willing to promote Paulie.  The fledgling distributor also partnered with Equity Toys to make a plush talking bird toy and Toys”R”Us also promoted Paulie.   Regardless of the exposure and generally positive reviews, DreamWorks cut a trailer that made Paulie look like a cheap movie for the video market.

It bowed against The Object of My Affection and the low budget turkey Major League: Back to the Minors and pulled in $5,369,800 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the holdover City of Angels.  Paulie landed a solid A-cinemascore and it dipped a modest 18.4% to $4,382,728 the following frame and continued to post small weekly declines.  Even with the strong word of mouth, the domestic run closed with only $26,875,268.  DreamWorks would see returned about $14.7M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover P&A expenses and the theatrical receipts would not touch the studio’s exposure to the budget.

Reported overseas numbers were just $4,440,773 across numerous distributors.

And if you were wondering, no Supreme Court Justice John Roberts did not direct this movie.


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  1. During its six week stay in the top 10, Paulie had declines of 18%, 14%, 32%, 37%, and 43% (12% over 4-days for the Memorial Day frame).

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