- Directed By: Barry Levinson
- Written By: Steve Adams
- Release Date: April 30, 2004
- Domestic Distributor: DreamWorks
- Cast: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz, Amy Poehler
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: DreamWorks|
|Domestic Gross: $13,562,325||Overseas Gross: $1,019,440|
Envy began development at Warner Bros based Castle Rock, after a pitch by Larry David, but the studio could not come to terms with the $40 million budget that Castle Rock had packaged the film with. The project moved over to DreamWorks for financing, which was a surprise since director Barry Levinson was very vocal about DreamWorks’ mishandling and dumping of his film An Everlasting Piece (2000) and the same would be the fate of Envy.
Envy finished production in 2002 and after disastrous test screenings, the film was pushed back from its May 2003 release date and then shelved with the strong possibility of going straight to video. DreamWorks decided to give the film a theatrical release in the US and scheduled it for April 2, 2004. Ben Stiller was already extremely over-exposed in 2004, with 4 movies set for release (Along Came Polly, Starsky and Hutch, DodgeBall and Meet the Fockers) and of his 5 films, Envy was the only that bombed.
Less than a month before it was to open, DreamWorks moved the date to April 30, where it would go up against Mean Girls, Godsend, Laws Of Attraction and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius. Little was spent in the way of marketing and Envy was booked into 2,445 theaters and received awful reviews. It pulled in a weak $6,160,886 — placing #6 for the weekend led by Mean Girls. Audiences gave the film a rare and hateful D cinemascore and Envy collapsed 59.3% the following weekend to $2,506,209 and then sank 58.4% in its third weekend to $1,042,949. Envy left theaters with $13,562,325. DreamWorks would see back about $7.4 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would leave some of their P&A costs in the red and the budget untouched.
Sony had overseas rights for the picture and dumped it straight to video in almost every market. Envy saw a small release in the UK in 77 theaters to just $112,575 and Mexico posted the highest numbers with just $358,481. The overseas cume was an anemic $1,019,440.