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  • Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson
  • Written By: David Webb Peoples
  • Release Date: October 23, 1998
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs

Box Office Info:
Budget: $60 million Financed by: Warner Bros; Morgan Creek
Domestic Box Office: $14,594,226 Overseas Box Office: $5,600,000

“I’d been paid a lot to do [Stargate], and then I got paid a lot to do movies after that. For the first time I realized, hey, I have a future here—not just in the business, but to make some money. I joined the big parade there by pulling the lottery chain – one that ended with a movie that you probably don’t remember, called Soldier.”
–Kurt Russell

soldier 1998 kurt russell
It was announced that Kurt Russell began negotiations to topline Soldier for his highest payday at $15 million in June 1996, which was two months before his expensive flop Escape From L.A. opened.  The initial press releases pegged the budget at an expensive $75M, but production was delayed when Russell needed time to buff up and then the studio began to scale back the scope of the project.  During the delay Paul W.S. Anderson went off to direct Event Horizon.  Anderson has since said of the budget cuts that helped turn Soldier into a derivative cheap looking action pic, “What I’d originally planned would have been much better, ultimately, than what we put on screen.”

Morgan Creek had been housed at Warner Bros since 1992 and in 1997 they re-upped their agreement with the studio and this was the first project they announced together after the extension.  The budget for Soldier was $60 million and it was financed equally between Warner Bros and Morgan Creek.   This spinoff of the Blade Runner universe was dated for October 23, 1998 and buzz was low.  Soldier landed dreadful reviews and much fan rage from communities online (specifically from aintitcool back in wee days of the internet).

Soldier bowed against Pleasantville and Apt Pupil and was dead on arrival with $6,447,237 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Pleasantville.  The film sank 56.2% to $2,824,653 in its second frame and then plunged 68% to $907,390 in its third session.  The domestic run closed with just $14,594,226.

Reported overseas numbers are only $5.6M.  The worldwide cume was $20.1M and about $11M would be returned after theaters take their percentage of the gross — far below P&A costs and the budget would be all red.

WB packaged the commercial disaster Soldier and another unwanted bomb Lost & Found with The Matrix and sold the broadcast package to FOX.

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