- Directed By: Sydney Pollack
- Written By: Darryl Ponicsan, Kurt Luedtke
- Release Date: October 8, 1999
- Domestic Distributor: Sony
- Cast: Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles S. Dutton
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $78 million||Financed by: Sony; GmbH & Company Medien KG|
|Domestic Box Office: $31,502,583||Overseas Box Office: $43,105,987|
Every year a prestige picture with a top shelf director and a bankable lead turns out to be a complete creative and commercial misfire. That movie in 1999 was Random Hearts.
The big screen rights to the novel by Warren Adler were first picked up by CBS Films shortly after its publication in 1984 and it was developed as a vehicle for Dustin Hoffman. The project never materialized and in the early 1990s, James L. Brooks became attached as director with Kevin Costner in the lead. Random Hearts remained in development hell until it was announced in early January 1998 that director Sydney Pollack and Harrison Ford committed to the project. The budget for Random Hearts was a pricey $78 million, which was financed by Sony and they received some coin from the German tax shelter fund GmbH & Company Medien KG.
Random Hearts was dated for October 8, 1999 and its commercial prospects were initially high. It also had some awards chatter since it re-teamed Oscar winning writer Kurt Luedtke with Pollack who both collaborated on Out Of Africa. Random Hearts was tracking mainly amongst auds older than 40, but any hype the picture had deflated after it landed awful reviews and was written off as bad melodrama.
It bowed against Superstar and had competition with a glut of holdover movies that were far more appealing to adult audiences — American Beauty, Three Kings and Double Jeopardy. Random Hearts disappointed with $13,012,585 — placing #2 for the weekend led by Double Jeopardy. Audiences gave the film a deadly C- cinemascore and it sank 56.6% to $5,651,420 in its second frame and it flopped out of release with $31,502,583.
Random Hearts pulled in a soft $43.1M in overseas receipts. The worldwide total was $74.6M and Sony would see returned about $41M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover P&A expenses.