Bad News Bears
- Directed By: Richard Linklater
- Written By: Bill Lancaster, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
- Release Date: July 22, 2005
- Domestic Distributor: Paramount
- Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $35 million
|Financed by: Paramount
|Domestic Gross: $32,868,349
|Overseas Gross: $1,384,498
Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) is a burned-out minor league baseball player who loves to drink and can’t keep his hands to himself. His long-suffering lawyer (Marcia Gay Harden) arranges for him to manage a local Little League team, and Buttermaker soon finds himself the head of a rag-tag group of misfit players. Through unconventional team-building exercises and his offbeat coaching style, Buttermaker helps his hapless Bears prepare to meet their rivals, the Yankees.
Box Office Breakdown
After Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s script for Bad Santa (2003) turned into a surprise hit movie, they pitched a remake of the 1976 picture Bad News Bears to Paramount and landed a seven-figure deal to pen the screenplay. Billy Bob Thornton was cast as another alcoholic grump in hopes to score another Bad Santa sized hit. As development began on Bad New Bears in early 2004, the studio had been in a three year slump and began mining their library of movies to remake. Along with this pointless remake, the studio was prepping The Stepford Wives, The Manchurian Candidate, Alfie, The Longest Yard, War of the Worlds, The Honeymooners and Last Holiday. About two weeks before Bad News Bears went before the cameras, on November 2 studio head Sherry Lansing announced she would exit her post after 12 years on the job after her slate of pictures continued to perform poorly.
Richard Linklater was hired to direct in September 2004, shortly after he had directed the hit comedy with kids School Of Rock (2003) for Paramount. The project was fully financed by Paramount for $35 million. Newly appointed studio heads Brad Grey and Gail Berman first dated Bad News Bears for June 10, but moved the date back to July 22. It would be the third release in 2005 to have a problematic coach lead a group of underdogs, after the Martin Lawrence flop Rebound and the Will Ferrell vehicle Kicking and Screaming.
The Bad News Bears opened against The Island, The Devil’s Rejects and Hustle And Flow (a Paramount acquisition released by Paramount Classics). Reviews were lukewarm and buzz was minimal and it opened within expectations at $11,382,472 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the holdover Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Bad News Bears had weak legs and the film declined 50.5% in its second frame to $5,634,919 and fell 51.3% in its third session to $2,746,321 killing its chances at breaking out. The stateside run closed with $32,868,349.
Bad News Bears was dependent on the domestic market to turn a profit as baseball themed pictures usually do not travel well overseas. It saw a limited release in a few major markets where it pulled in only $1,384,498 and it went straight to video in most smaller markets. The worldwide cume was $34.2M. Paramount would see returned about $18.8M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover half of the P&A expenses and the theatrical receipts would not dent the budget.