Osmosis Jones

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  • Directed By: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
  • Written By: Marc Hyman
  • Release Date: August 10, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce

Box Office Info:
Budget: $75 millionFinanced by: Warner Bros
Domestic Gross: $13,596,911Overseas Gross: $429,507


In 1993 Warner Bros began to invest in a Warner Bros. Feature Animation division to compete with Disney’s stranglehold on the market.  Space Jam (1996) — which despite being an animation/live action hybrid, became the first feature (and only hit) to emerge from WB Feature Animation.  The following project was the $80 million budgeted box office disaster Quest for Camelot and then the acclaimed flop The Iron Giant.  Osmosis Jones followed and after its massive failure, WB Animation was mostly disbanded and another live-action/animation hybrid Looney Tunes: Back In Action was the final deathblow to the department in 2003.

Osmosis Jones was in development back in 1998 and was formally greenlit in June 1999 and WB was so high on the project that they also ordered a 13-episode animated TV series spinoff for Kids WB.  Warner Bros also planned on huge cross promotional tie-ins with major corporations, but WB clearly lost faith in the project during post production and nothing major materialized.  Trendmasters Inc. had a toyline ready for mass production, but major chains had no interest in stocking them and that was abandoned.  The only tie-in that was released was a Scholastic book.

The animation was directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon and the live action segments were helmed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly and the brothers received full directing credits.  Osmosis Jones cost $75 million and was released on August 10 with little fanfare and marketing support from the studio.  It bowed against American Pie 2 and The Others and reviews were mixed.

The picture was tracking poorly going into release and performed worse than expected with a $5,271,248 opening — placing #7 for the weekend led by American Pie 2.  Osmosis Jones sank 52.5% the following frame to $2,504,428 and took a 69.7% nosedive to $758,324 in its third session and then promptly lost most of its theater count.  The domestic run closed with only $13,596,911.

Warner Bros dumped the movie overseas and it grossed an anemic $429,507 in a fleeting theatrical release.  WB would see returned about $7.7 million of the worldwide receipts after theaters take their percentage of the gross, barely putting a dent in their modest P&A expenses and leaving the budget in the red.  After ancillary sales, Osmosis Jones lost nearly $50 million.

3 Comments

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  1. This film is a little hidden gem. Also it has Brandy in it and she’s awesome. I know it came out in ’01 but it’s a very 90’s kids movie and I like that.

  2. Many years ago I read somewhere that Osmosis Jones eventually made back its budget through DVD sales and television rights. Is this true or was the info I read inaccurate?

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