- Directed By: Hugh Wilson
- Written By: Hugh Wilson
- Release Date: August 27, 1999
- Domestic Distributor: Universal
- Cast: Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alfred Molina
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $22 million||Financed by: Universal|
|Domestic Box Office: $9,974,410||Overseas Box Office: N/A|
After The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show creator Jay Ward’s death in 1989, his daughter Tiffany Ward inked a long standing licensing deal in May 1991 between Jay Ward Productions Inc. and Universal. Eventually in the late 90s Universal announced plans for two movies from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. First up was the flop Dudley Do-Right and then The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle (2000), an expensive live action/CGI hybrid that the studio planned as an event family picture.
The budget for Dudley Do-Right was $22 million (not the ridiculously inflated $70M budget that has circulated) and Universal financed. It marked the second 1999 pairing between director Hugh Wilson and Brendan Fraser, who had the better received but commercial disappointment Blast From The Past earlier in the year. Dudley Do-Right was also the second Jay Ward character for Fraser, who starred in the 1997 hit George Of The Jungle.
In June 1997, Hugh Wilson inked a $5M payday to write and direct this junk — as he was fresh off the box office hit The First Wives Club (1996). After the dismal failure of this movie, he never directed another studio picture. Universal also had major plans for this film, including coinciding the release with the opening of ‘Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls’ at Universal’s Florida theme park. That ride opened on May 28, 1999 — but Universal wisley dated another Brendan Fraser movie for May, which was the massive hit The Mummy. Dudley Do-Right was relegated to the end of summer dumping ground on August 27.
The trailers and marketing material were nauseating slapstick idiocy and Dudley Do-Right had little buzz going into release. Reviews were mostly negative. It bowed against The 13th Warrior, In Too Deep, The Astronaut’s Wife and The Muse. Dudley Do-Right posted a disastrous $3,018,345 opening — placing #11 for the weekend led by the holdover The Sixth Sense. Auds that showed up gave it a poor C+ cinemascore and it dipped a modest 28.1% to $2,170,850 over the Labor Day frame. It then sank 53.8% to $1,003,090 in its third session and closed its domestic run with just $9,974,410.
Universal sent Dudley Do-Right straight to video in almost every overseas market. The only reported overseas numbers were from the opening in Australia, which tanked with $71,000.