- Directed By: Walter Hill
- Written By: David Giler, Walter Hill
- Release Date: August 23, 2002
- Domestic Distributor: Miramax
- Cast: Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames, Peter Falk, Michael Rooker
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $20 million||Financed by: Millennium Films|
|Domestic Box Office: $12,764,657||Overseas Box Office: $2,455,891|
After director Walter Hill walked away and had his name removed from the big budget fiasco Supernova (2000), he began work on this lower budget project to retain more control over the production. The budget for Undisputed was $20 million and it was financed by Millennium Films. Miramax picked up US, UK, Australia and New Zealand rights for $4.5 million shortly after production was completed.
Ving Rhames had been training for a boxing role for nearly two years to portray Sonny Liston in a film that was to directed by William Friedkin called Night Train, but that picture collapsed when Friedkin went off to helm Rules of Engagement (2000). Fortunately for Rhames, he was able to quickly segue into this boxing project. He eventually played Sonny Liston in a barely seen film called Phantom Punch (2008).
Miramax first dated the movie for release in November 2001, but delayed it almost a year to October 18, 2002 — then they moved it to October 4 and then back to the 18th and finally it was dumped during the end of summer slowdown on August 23.
It opened against the comedy flop Serving Sara and Simone and landed lukewarm reviews. Undisputed was booked only moderately wide into 1,102 theaters, had a small marketing push and pulled in a soft $4,548,750 — placing #8 for the slow weekend led by the holdover Signs. It declined 44.7% in its second weekend to $2,516,735 and closed its domestic run with $12,764,657. Miramax would see returned about $6.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover their modest P&A spend.
The other territories Miramax took the rights to saw no theatrical release and the film wasn’t even available on home video in Australia until ten years later in 2012. Undisputed saw a brief theatrical run in a few markets, where it pulled in $2,455,891 across a few distributors. The film did decent enough on video to have Millennium finance two inexpensive direct to video sequels. Walter Hill followed up this picture by directing the pilot episode of Deadwood and his next theatrical feature was Bullet To The Head, which was released a decade later.