Music Of The Heart
- Directed By: Wes Craven
- Written By: Pamela Gray
- Release Date: October 29, 1999
- Domestic Distributor: Miramax
- Cast: Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Aidan Quinn, Gloria Estefan
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $27 million||Financed by: Miramax|
|Domestic Box Office: $14,859,394||Overseas Box Office: N/A|
“I did Music of the Heart and Meryl Streep got a nomination for an Academy Award. In test audiences it got one of the highest ratings for a Miramax film ever… But they had a very hard time getting people into the theaters because of my name.”
Wes Craven had a different type of picture released during the Halloween frame in 1999, but this was the truly horrifying genre of the inspirational white savior teacher for inner city youth.
After Miramax had released the documentary Small Wonders (1995), development began for a big screen fictionalized account of the story and oddly enough horror veteran Wes Craven showed interest in what would become Music Of The Heart. Fresh off of the huge success of Scream (1996), it was announced in March 1997 that Craven landed a lucrative three film pay or play deal at Miramax and their genre offshoot Dimension Films. The first picture in the arrangement was Scream 2, which would be followed by Music Of The Heart and then Scream 3.
Madonna was originally cast and spent three months learning the violin, but she exited the project in July 1998 after creative differences with Craven. Meryl Streep was then cast and production was pushed back for two months so she could learn how to properly play the instrument. The budget for Music Of The Heart was $27 million and Miramax financed. The company sold off some overseas rights to distributors, which would limit their exposure to the budget.
Music Of the Heart was dated for October 29, 1999 and was positioned by Miramax as an end of the year awards player. The mini-major had very high hopes for the sentimental movie’s commercial appeal after strong test screening scores and Streep’s performance had Oscar buzz. Music Of The Heart bowed against the remake of House on Haunted Hill and landed mixed reviews. The movie opened with a disastrous $3,653,281 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Haunted Hill. Music Of The Heart landed a rare A+ cinemascore from audiences and it dipped a modest 22.8% to $2,821,480 in its second frame — but the picture bombed with a final domestic cume of $14,859,394. Miramax would see returned about $8.1M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave much of the P&A costs in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.
Overseas numbers are not available. Streep landed a Best Actress nomination, but the movie was long out of release when the nominations were announced for Miramax to capitalize off of it.