Monkeybone

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    [Total: 7 Average: 2.1]
  • Directed By: Henry Selick
  • Written By: Sam Hamm
  • Release Date: February 23, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, John Turturro, Chris Kattan

Box Office Info:
Budget: $75 millionFinanced by: FOX
Domestic Box Office: $5,411,999Overseas Box Office: $2,210,366

monkeybone 2001
Monkeybone was financed by FOX for at least $75 million and some estimates are north of $80 million and the project was originally set up as a vehicle for Ben Stiller, who dropped out to join the cast of Mystery Men.  Brendan Fraser was cast as the lead and production ended in October 1999.  Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman Bill Mechanic greenlit the film and he was ousted from his position in June 2000 after the studio suffered through numerous flops and just one week after Titan A.E. had its awful opening.  Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos took over Mechanic’s chairmanship and the new administration was left with this expensive commercial oddity that they cut to pieces and buried after poor test screenings.  What was left was a movie too bizarre and demented for kids and too stupid and incoherent for everyone else.

After Monkeybone was taken away from director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), it was delayed numerous times, then shuffled around the release calendar and finally dumped on February 23, 2001.  Moviegoers were also offered up more garbage that weekend with 3000 Miles to Graceland.  FOX invested little into a marketing campaign and booked Monkeybone into 1,722 theaters and it pulled in a disastrous $2,685,078 — placing #11 for the weekend led by Hannibal in its third frame.  The few auds who showed up, gave the pic a toxic C cinemascore and it sank 57.9% in its second weekend to $1,130,071.  Monkeybone bombed out of theaters after only five weeks with $5,411,999.

FOX also dumped the film overseas, where it pulled in just $2.2 million.  In a quarter investor report, News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin singled out Monkeybone as “a leftover from the last administration and a residual hangover from animation.”  Chernin was referring to Fox Animation, which shuttered after the poor box office of Titan A.E.  Monkeybone and Say It Isn’t So severely dented the fiscal quarter and it was expected that FOX wrote-down the entire production costs of both films.  Bill Mechanic produced Selick’s lovely follow up stop-motion feature Coraline (2009).

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