- Directed By: Glen Morgan
- Written By: Glen Morgan & Gilbert Ralston & Stephen Gilbert
- Release Date: March 14, 2003
- Domestic Distributor: New Line
- Cast: Crispin Glover, R. Lee Ermey, Laura Harring
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: New Line|
|Domestic Gross: $6,886,089||Overseas Gross: $1,660,577|
Fresh off of the success of Final Destination, Glen Morgan and James Wong set up Willard at New Line with an incredible back end deal for the duo. Director Morgan and producer Wong would defer all their fees on the $25 million movie, in exchange for splitting the theatrical and home video gross with New Line after the distributor recoups its investment — which New Line estimated would be when the film hits between $60 million and $70 million worldwide. New Line thought the remake of the 1971 film of the same name had franchise potential, but after awful test screening scores, the mini-major cut some gore from the oddball film to get a PG-13 rating. Test screening scores remained very poor even after Willard was trimmed.
Willard was dated for March 14 and bowed against Agent Cody Banks and The Hunted. Despite the hateful early audience reactions, the Crispin Glover vehicle received generally positive reviews, but it was dead on arrival with $4,010,593. Willard placed #8 for the weekend led by the holdover Bringing Down The House. Paying audiences hated the movie as much as test auds and gave Willard a rare D- cinemascore (it gets a solid B+ here on BombReport). Attendance sank 65% the following weekend to $1,402,650 and Willard promptly lost most of its theater count. The movie closed its domestic run with just $6,886,089. New Line would see returned about $3.7 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which leaves most of their P&A expenses in the red and the budget at a loss.
Willard went straight to video in most major overseas markets and pulled in a small $1,660,577 from a few offshore territories. The worldwide cume was $8.5 million, miles away from the $60 – $70 million Morgan and Wong needed to take advantage of their rich backend participation deal.