- Directed By: Robert Benton
- Written By: Robert Benton, Richard Russo
- Release Date: March 6, 1998
- Domestic Distributor: Paramount
- Cast: Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Reese Witherspoon
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $28 million||Financed by: Paramount|
|Domestic Gross: $15,055,091||Overseas Gross: N/A|
No, not the Twilight you are thinking of — this Twilight was financed by Paramount for $28 million. To keep the costs reasonable, actors Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon and Gene Hackman took smaller salaries in return for a percentage of the backend, if the movie reached profit — as did director Robert Benton, writer Richard Russo and producer Scott Rudin. Twilight was the follow up project to both Robert Benton and Paul Newman’s successful collaboration Nobody’s Fool (1994), which landed Newman a Best Actor nomination and Benton an Adapted Screenplay nomination. That picture was also a Paramount production and studio head Sherry Lansing said she expected Twilight to eclipse the $39.4M box office take of Nobody’s Fool, due to the stellar cast and commercial appeal of the story.
Twilight was dated for March 6, 1998 and bowed against U.S. Marshals, The Big Lebowski and Hush. Reviews were lukewarm and despite Paul Newman doing the press rounds to sell the movie, buzz was low. Twilight pulled in a weak $5,866,411 — placing #4 for the weekend led by the 12th frame of Titanic. Audiences gave the movie a terrible C+ cinemascore and it declined 44.7% to $3,245,628 the following weekend and fell 49.9% to $1,624,71 in its third session. The domestic run closed with only $15,055,091. Paramount would see returned about $8.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover P&A expenses or any of the budget.
Overseas numbers are not available, but were briefly reported in the trades as barely making a blip in markets it landed a theatrical release.