Anywhere But Here

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    [Total: 4 Average: 3.5]
  • Directed By: Wayne Wang
  • Written By: Alvin Sargent
  • Release Date: November 12, 1999
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Hart Bochner

Box Office Info:
Budget: $23 million Financed by: FOX
Domestic Box Office: $18,670,401 Overseas Box Office: $4,961,528

Shortly after the publication of Mona Simpson’s (no, not Homer’s mother) novel Anywhere But Here in 1987, Disney optioned the theatrical rights as a vehicle for Meryl Streep.  That never materialized and the project was resurrected a decade later at FOX.  Susan Sarandon was tapped for the lead and her commitment to the picture was based on the casting of Natalie Portman, who exited her Broadway debut The Diary of Anne Frank early to take this role.  The budget for Anywhere But Here was $23 million and FOX financed.

Anywhere But Here was dated by FOX for November 12, 1999 and Wayne Wang’s film was positioned as a potential awards player for the studio.  It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and was met with lukewarm reviews, which ended any chance at landing nominations.  Anywhere But Here had little buzz going into release and bowed against Pokémon: The First Movie, Dogma, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and Light it Up (also FOX).

The film opened with a disappointing $5,607,137 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Pokémon.  Anywhere But Here declined 42% the following weekend to $3,249,861 and then dipped just 13.2% to $2,822,227 over the Thanksgiving holiday frame.  The pic then sank 53.3% to $1,319,257 in its fourth session and burned out with just $18,670,401.

FOX saw just $4.9M in overseas receipts.  The worldwide total was $23.6M and the studio would see returned about $12.9M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — below P&A expenses and the budget would be all red.

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