Joy Ride

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    [Total: 39 Average: 4.5]
  • Directed By: John Dahl
  • Written By: Clay Tarver, J.J. Abrams
  • Release Date: October 5, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: New Regency (through FOX)
  • Cast: Steve Zahn, Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski

Box Office Info:
Budget: $23 millionFinanced by: New Regency
Domestic Box Office: $21,974,919Overseas Box Office: $14,667,919


The budget for Joy Ride was $23 million and it was financed by New Regency and they also paid for the domestic P&A expenses.   Regency’s output was handled by FOX, which received a fee for use of its distribution resources.  Joy Ride went before the cameras in September 1999 and a fall 2000 release was planned, but studio interference saw the picture languish in post-production for almost two years.

Director John Dahl edited the film for over a year and was sent back to reshoot the ending twice.  Joy Ride was eventually dated for October 5, 2001 and was accompanied by a poor marketing campaign that sold this as a witless generic teen thriller.  Little buzz trailed the movie into release and it had the air of damaged goods from the studio tinkering and the delay — but Joy Ride landed strong reviews.

It bowed against Training Day, Serendipity and Max Keeble’s Big Move and even with a slight uptick in interest after critics championed the film, Joy Ride opened with a poor $7,347,259  — placing #5 for the weekend led by Training Day.  It declined a modest 33.2% to $4,905,863 in its second frame and then fell 48.1% to $2,543,786 in its third session.  The domestic run closed with only $21,974,919.

For the overseas release, the picture went out in most markets as Roadkill and FOX saw mostly soft numbers.  The offshore cume was $14.6M.  The worldwide total was $36.6M and about $20.1M would be returned after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would leave much of the global P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.  Home video sales were enough to launch two cheap made for video sequels.

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