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  • Directed By: Gary Fleder
  • Written By: Caroline Case, Ehren Kruger, David Twohy
  • Release Date: January 4, 2002
  • Domestic Distributor: Miramax (Dimension)
  • Cast: Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe, Vincent D’Onofrio

Box Office Info:
Budget: $40 million (estimated) Financed by: Miramax (Dimension)
Domestic Box Office: $6,285,176 Overseas Box Office: $1,860,373

“Ultimately, the bummer is that Impostor was a really, really good short film. The only thing I’ll say is I wish it had stayed a short film. It was fantastic and I loved it. I think the idea of cannibalizing the short into a feature, I take 100% responsibility for that. It probably wasn’t the best choice.”

Director Gary Fleder

Impostor was originally filmed back in 1998 as a 38 minute short film, which was to be one of three sci-fi tales in an anthology.  Danny Boyle directed another short segment Alien Love Triangle (which has never been released to the public) and Guillermo del Toro directed Mimic, which was filmed as a feature instead of a short.  Once it was decided that the anthology would be scrapped, Impostor was expanded into a feature, rewritten and then retooled to death.

Impostor was financed by Miramax’s Dimension label for a reported $40 million, though that number should be looked at suspiciously since the production value is strictly bargain basement.  There were endless reshoots that took place over three years that certainly drove up the costs, but the budget is not on screen — in fact, the production of Impostor literally borrowed props, costumes and footage from Starship Troopers.  After what looks like the filmmakers raided a Columbia Tri-Star garage sale and picked up Starship Troopers gear for cheap, Impostor gets off to a shaky start with a prologue that was tacked on by the Weinstein’s — with footage from various other films!  Clearly additional last minute reshoots were scrapped for dumpster diving for stock footage to insert into the opening, showcasing the vfx of more costly films, like Armageddon and again, Starship Troopers.

Impostor was originally scheduled for release on October 6, 2000 and changed dates about half a dozen times before being unloaded on January 4, 2002.  Impostor was trimmed from a R rating to a PG-13 in the US, received poor reviews and was booked into 1,870 theaters.  It tanked with $3,022,523 — placing #13 for the weekend led by The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in its third frame.  Audiences gave the movie a terrible C cinemascore and Impostor sank 52.2% in its second frame to $1,445,680 and was quickly pulled from release with just $6,285,176.

Miramax sold off overseas rights to numerous distributors, which would limit their exposure to the budget and Impostor was dumped in every market with a small theatrical release to all of $1,860,373.  It went straight to video in most countries.

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