Bandits

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  • Directed By: Barry Levinson
  • Written By: Harley Peyton
  • Release Date: October 12, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: MGM
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett

Box Office Info:
Budget: $80 millionFinanced by: MGM; Hyde Park Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $41,575,141Overseas Box Office: $26,056,762


The budget for Bandits was reported to be just under $80 million and MGM contributed 60% of the expensive budget and Hyde Park Entertainment co-financed.  MGM sold off some overseas markets, which would help limit their exposure to the pricey project.  

Hyde Park’s first slate of films were all MGM releases and all flops, with Antitrust being their first picture, followed by What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, Original Sin and then Bandits capped off their awful 2001.  MGM had landed Bruce Willis for two pictures and had other projects in development for the star, but after Bandits and Hart’s War bombed, the lion cancelled the other projects.

Bandits was dated for October 11 and bowed against Corky Romano and Iron Monkey.  MGM held 1,000 nationwide sneak previews the week before its release to build word of mouth and Bandits was tracking for an opening in the $20 million range.  

Bandits landed lukewarm reviews but came in way below expectations at $13,050,700 — placing #2 for the weekend led by the holdover Training Day.  MGM’s head of distribution, Robert Levin blamed the poor opening over anthrax scares and government murmurings of terrorist attacks.  Not blamed was the poor marketing which never made it clear if this was a comedy or drama and these threats didn’t stop Training Day from becoming a hit.  Bandits had a modest 36.4% second frame decline to $8,304,007 and continued to have respectable weekly drops in attendance, but its final cume was a disappointing $41,575,141.  MGM would see back about $22.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their expensive P&A spend or any of the budget they were exposed to.

MGM posted a $16 million quarter loss, after the success of Legally Blonde and Jeepers Creepers was offset by the poor theatrical receipts and expensive marketing of Bandits and Original Sin.  MGM licensed the pic out in a shared window to ABC, Comedy Central and TBS/TNT for a four year term at $7.5 million.

Bandits fared worse overseas, posting a terrible $26,056,762 gross.

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