The Big Bounce

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    • Directed By: George Armitage
    • Written By: Sebastian Gutierrez
    • Release Date: January 30, 2004
    • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
    • Cast: Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Charlie Sheen, Gary Sinise

Box Office Info:
Budget: $40 million Financed by: Shangri-La Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $6,489,476 Overseas Gross: $319,074

“Oh, god. And they made it twice. It wasn’t bad enough the first time … Well, I don’t really remember all the bad ones. I know The Big Bounce was bad. I don’t think anybody in the picture knew what it was about. The second time it was made they shot it in Hawaii and they would cut to surfers when they’d run out of ideas.”
–Elmore Leonard

Steve Bing financed the second attempt to film Elmore Leonard’s novel The Big Bounce (after the terrible 1969 version) for $53 million, through his Shangri-La Entertainment and received back $13 million in tax credits from Hawaii’s two incentive programs for film productions.  Warner Bros signed on as distributor in most territories and The Big Bounce was to be the first of a slate of films set for a distribution agreement between WB and Bing.

In an interview with director George Armitage by filmcomment, Armitage said his first cut of The Big Bounce came in with a NC-17 rating and then he began to tone down some of the content to land a hard R rating.  After Armitage commissioned two cuts, Steve Bing was pressured by Warner Bros to trim the film to a PG-13 and afraid he would lose most of his investment with a prohibitive rating, Bing agreed to gut the riskier content.  George Armitage then quit the movie in post-production and The Big Bounce was carved up by the producers.

Warner Bros originally scheduled the pic for release on September 12, 2003 but pushed it back to January 30, 2004 — where its target demo would be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday.  It bowed against the idiotic You Got Served and the teen flop The Perfect Score.  The less prohibitive rating didn’t do much to bolster ticket sales, as The Big Bounce opened to atrocious reviews and grossed a miserable $3,336,374 in 2,304 theaters.  It placed outside the top 10 at #13 for the weekend led by You Got Served.  Audiences gave the film a hateful D cinemascore and The Big Bounce sank 61.8% in its second frame to $1,273,483 and then lost most of its theater count going into its third weekend of release.  The domestic run closed with a terrible $6,489,476.

Warner Bros dumped the film straight to video in almost every overseas market and The Big Bounce grossed $238,839 in Australia and $80,235 in the United Arab Emirates for a $319,074 overseas total.

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