The Mod Squad

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    [Total: 17 Average: 1.9]
  • Directed By: Scott Silver
  • Written By: Stephen Kay, Scott Silver, Kate Lanier
  • Release Date: March 26, 1999
  • Domestic Distributor: MGM
  • Cast: Claire Danes, Giovanni Ribisi, Omar Epps, Josh Brolin

Box Office Info:
Budget: $21 million Financed by: MGM
Domestic Gross: $13,263,993 Overseas Gross: $2,155,311

MGM dusted off the 1968 TV series The Mod Squad and the struggling studio was actively moving forward with the property in mid 1997.  Stacy Title was originally hired to direct, but she left in July ’97 over the usual creative differences, after she wanted to film a more gritty version of The Mod Squad — and MGM wanted the movie to be hip and cool.  The Mod Squad turned out to be nobody’s idea of hip or cool.  Scott Silver took over directing and screenplay duties and churned out this embarrassment.

The budget for The Mod Squad was $21 million and MGM fully financed and dated the movie for March 26, 1999.   MGM’s 1999 first quarter releases (At First SightThe Rage: Carrie 2 and The Mod Squad) left a combined $54.3M write-down for the studio.

MGM landed a cross-promotional print and commercial tie-in with Levi’s, which created a line of clothing that the characters wear in The Mod Squad.  The expensive promotional stunt helped neither company.  It bowed against EDtv and Doug’s First Movie.  MGM marketed the R rated movie directly at a teenage audience, which would not be able to buy a ticket and The Mod Squad racked up some of the worst reviews of the year.  It pulled in a poor $6,064,716 — placing #4 for the weekend led by the holdover Forces Of Nature.  Auds hated the movie, slapping it with a C- cinemascore and it sank 57.6% the following frame to $2,568,784 and then plummeted 68.1% to $818,602 and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with only $13,263,993.  MGM would see returned about $7.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which leaves much of the P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.

Overseas numbers were an anemic $2,155,311.

MGM packaged the hit The Man In The Iron Mask with 6 unwanted flops (Hoodlum, Mod Squad, Dirty Work, Disturbing Behavior, The Rage: Carrie 2 and At First Sight) to sell to the USA network and their sister channel Sci-Fi Channel for $22 million.

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