Runaway Jury

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  • Directed By: Gary Fleder
  • Written By: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Rick Cleveland, Matthew Chapman
  • Release Date: October 17, 2003
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz

Box Office Info:
Budget: $60 million Financed by: New Regency
Domestic Box Office: $49,443,628 Overseas Box Office: $30,710,512

Runaway Jury began its long road to the screen in 1996, when Regency purchased the book rights for at the time, a record breaking $8 million.  Regency was coming off the 1996 hit Grisham adaptation A Time To Kill and they courted Joel Schumacher, who helmed A Time To Kill, to direct Runaway Jury.  Edward Norton was cast with a pay or play contract, but the project fell apart and Regency moved his pay or play over to Fight Club.  Alfonso Cuarón boarded the project, but left.  Phillip Kaufman came and went.  Warner Bros was set to be domestic distributor, but they pulled out.

In 2001 the project was moving forward with Mike Newell directing and Will Smith starring, but John Grisham had casting approval and refused approval for Will Smith.  Once again the film fell apart and the rights reverted back to the author.  Regency acquired the rights again and the project began to quickly move forward in 2002.  Throughout its development, $15 million was spent on the novel rights and screenplay expenses.   The budget for Runaway Jury was $60 million and it was fully financed by New Regency.  FOX handled distribution.

Runaway Jury was dated for October 17, 2003 and bowed against The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the wide expansion of the better reviewed Mystic River, which would directly compete for adult auds.  It was tracking for an opening near $18 million, but pulled in a soft $11,836,705 — placing #3 for the weekend led by ChainsawRunaway Jury posted a great second weekend hold, declining only 28.6% to $8,446,650 and it continued to show small weekly drops in attendance, but the domestic run closed with a disappointing $49,443,628.

Runaway Jury did not fare any better overseas and cumed $30.7M.  The worldwide theatrical receipts were $80.1M.  About $44M would be returned after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover global P&A expenses.  After the film underperformed, FOX had no interest in broadcasting the pic on their own network and TNT and its sister channel TBS took rights for $5 million.  Runaway Jury was the last Grisham legal thriller to be set up at a studio.

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