Solaris

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    [Total: 7 Average: 2.3]
  • Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
  • Written By: Steven Soderbergh
  • Release Date: November 27, 2002
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Viola Davis

Box Office Info:
Budget: $47 millionFinanced by: FOX
Domestic Box Office: $14,973,382Overseas Box Office: $15,029,376


James Cameron acquired the rights to Solaris as a project he would direct, but that never materialized and Steven Soderbergh took over directing duties and Cameron attached himself as producer.  FOX fully financed the picture for $47 million.

There was much anticipation for Steven Soderbergh’s first commercial follow up to Ocean’s 11, but Solaris turned out not to be an easy sell to mainstream audiences and FOX apparently did not know how to market it.  In a pathetic attempt to increase exposure for Solaris, the studio enraged George Clooney by leaking a story to the press that the MPAA overturned a R rating because Clooney shows his bare ass.  That publicity stunt did little to bolster audience interest.

FOX originally dated Solaris for December 13, but moved it up to the Thanksgiving frame, so it would not be in direct competition with Star Trek: Nemesis.  Solaris was the only adult targeting movie opening over the crowded holiday frame and was up against garbage which all performed poorly: Eight Crazy Nights, Treasure Planet, Wes Craven Presents: They and Extreme Ops.

Solaris received mild, but positive reviews and it tanked with $6,752,722 for the weekend and $9,418,664 total for the 5-day holiday frame.  It placed #7 for the holiday led by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in its third session.  Audiences were far more harsh than critics, making Solaris a rare movie to be given a F cinemascore.  The pic collapsed 65.1% the following weekend to $2,354,888 and promptly lost most of its theater count.  It was out of release with $14,973,382.

FOX expected Solaris to play better overseas, but it was a dud in almost every market and grossed $15,029,376.  The worldwide total was $30 million, returning about $16.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover P&A expenses.

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