Saving Silverman

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  • Directed By: Dennis Dugan
  • Written By: Hank Nelken, Greg DePaul
  • Release Date: February 9, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: Sony
  • Cast: Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn, Jack Black, Amanda Peet

Box Office Info:
Budget: $22 millionFinanced by: Sony; Village Roadshow
Domestic Box Office: $19,402,030Overseas Box Office: $6,684,676


In November 1998, Village Roadshow purchased the Saving Silverman pitch from Hank Nelken and Greg DePaul for $175,000 against $325,000 after the company was in a bidding war with Universal.  Roadshow set the project up at Warner Bros, but the studio put it into turnaround in early 2000.  Saving Silverman was picked up by Sony, which financed with Village Roadshow for $22 million.

After Jason Biggs’ two studio vehicles following American Pie (1999) — Boys and Girls (2000) and Loser (2000) both did poor box office, Saving Silverman was the last studio movie designed around him.  This throwaway teen comedy was trimmed from a R rating to a PG-13 and was dumped as counter-programming to Hannibal on February 9.  To drum up interest on this stinker, Sony held sneak previews at 621 locations the week before its release and there was a soft 50% capacity for the sneaks.

Reviews were as lousy as they come and Sony was expecting a modest $8 – $10 million opening.  Saving Silverman was booked into 2,467 theaters and came in just under expectations with $7,411,852 — placing #3 for the frame led by Hannibal.  Audiences gave the comedy a poor C+ cinemascore, but it held on in its second weekend, declining 35.1% to $4,812,228 but it sank 57% in its third weekend to $2,048,719.  Saving Silverman closed its domestic run with $19,402,030.  Sony would see returned about $10.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their P&A expenses or any of the budget.

Sony dumped the pic overseas, where it cumed just $6.6 million.  Once ancillary sales are factored in, Saving Silverman was probably a wash for Sony.

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