- Directed By: David Twohy
- Written By: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky, David Twohy
- Release Date: October 11, 2002
- Domestic Distributor: Miramax (Dimension)
- Cast: Matthew Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: Miramax (Dimension)|
|Domestic Box Office: $605,562||Overseas Box Office: $2,016,453|
Below began its rocky road to the big screen in 1998. Dimension co-chair Bob Weinstein gave Darren Aronofsky a huge payday to bring the writer/director into the Miramax/Dimension fold after he won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance film festival for his no-budget movie Pi. Aronofsky was awarded a $600,000 pay-or-play deal to direct Below and was paid $300,000 upfront against a $600,000 back-end price for the screenplay. As long as Below went into production with Aronofsky as director, Dimension would also have an option on the young filmmaker for a second project. He eventually left directing duties and helmed Requiem for a Dream and was attached as director to Batman: Year One, which never materialized.
Fresh off of the surprise box office success of Pitch Black, David Twohy became attached as director and Below was the first of a three picture deal — with the next project for Dimension and the third for Miramax. Below was financed by Miramax’s genre division Dimension for $40 million and things began to go sour during post-production when Bob Weinstein wanted the movie trimmed to a PG-13 rating. Twohy’s contract allowed him to deliver a R rated cut, which he did and this ended their three picture deal and any support the studio would give the movie.
Below was first dated for a wide bow on February 8, 2002 then pushed to the summer of 2002 and moved again to October 11th. With less than two weeks before its release, there were no trailers, or even a poster and outside of a few movie geek sites like aintitcool, there was no awareness of the film. Twohy had to launch a website for the film himself, since the film had been practically orphaned by Dimension. Despite being completely dumped and having the aura of an unwatchable problem picture, Below received mixed reviews and even some enthusiastic notices from critics.
It was booked into 168 theaters and predictably pulled in an awful $201,431. Dimension expanded it to 353 locations the following weekend with diminishing returns at $185,164. Below was pulled from release after just three weeks with $605,562.
Below was sent straight to video in most major markets overseas and its recorded offshore gross was a mere $2,016,453 across a handful of distributors.