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Author Topic: EVERY WHICH WAY: Business and Publicity 3: The Box Office  (Read 3300 times)
mgk
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« on: July 13, 2003, 09:18:22 PM »

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Eastwood told Variety in January 1979, "We were wondering if Warner Bros. would expend its biggest push on Superman. We kept our wheels squeaking to make sure we had the treatment necessary to push this film."

Warners got the message and came up with a detailed and, as it turned out, highly sophisticated strategy for keeping their money-spinner happy. While Superman mopped up in the big cities, Every Which Way But Loose opened wide over Christmas 1978 in small rural places that didn't expect to see an Eastwood movie until it had been showing for weeks in more favoured locations. Under normal circumstances, an Eastwood R-movie was dead in suburban cinemas after two to three weeks, but this modest PG-rated comedy was still pulling in the redneck crowds in 1,170 of its original 1,246 rural cinemas five weeks later. What's more, it was still building, and there was a second advertising campaign to come for the film's soundtrack featuring popular country and western stars Charlie Rich, Eddie Rabbitt, and Mel Tillis. Small wonder that it took forty-eight million dollars in North America, making it the second-highest grosser of 1978 after Superman.
(From Clint Eastwood: a Biography, by Minty Clinch, p. 131.)

With domestic box office figures of $105.9 million, and an estimated worldwide box office of close to $200 million, Every Which Way But Loose is still the top-grossing Eastwood film of all time, just hedging out In the Line of Fire's domestic grosses of $102,243,874 and Unforgiven at $101.2 million. How do you explain the success of Every Which Way But Loose over all of Eastwood's other films? Do these figures surprise you? Why, or why not?

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Brendan
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2003, 10:24:10 AM »

Like Clint said, since it was a PG rated film, more people who liked Clint could go see the movie with out being turned away at the ticket counter becuase it was R rated.

Also maybe becuase it was Clint's first comedy and a chance to see him do something completely differant sparked interest in the film.

I remember when I went to see Meet The Parents, I was interested in it not only becuase Jay Roach directed it, but becuase Robert De Niro was doing something you don't normally see him do.

It's a huge risk an actor like Clint, who had solidfied himself as an action star, would take to star in a comedy. It could turn off alot of his fans and make people not take him seriously.

I guess it worked though, which is good.
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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2003, 03:25:36 PM »


Also maybe becuase it was Clint's first comedy and a chance to see him do something completely differant sparked interest in the film.

I'm sure that had something to do with its success.  

I wasn't an Eastwood fan at the time this film was released, but I imagine that if I were... the buzz of Clint doing a film that was such a departure from his usual style would definitely intrigue me enough to make sure I got to the theater to view it.  And even if I wasn't a fan, I'm sure my curiosity to see this actor who had such a tough image doing a comedy with an ape sidekick would get me buying a ticket.  

But even with the "curiosity" factor, I"m still surprised that Every Which Way But Loose outgrossed films like The Outlaw Josey Wales, Dirty Harry, The Bridges of Madison County, and Unforgiven.  I even thought Bronco Billy was a more enjoyable film, which was also a family film, but didn't do nearly as well at the box office.
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Clyde
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2003, 06:01:15 PM »

Ironically enough, this is one of those rare Clint films that my friends and I did not run out to go and see in the theaters.  The curiosity factor of Clint in a comedy with a monkey did not intrigue us at all.  In fact, it turned us off -- we wanted more Thunderbolt and Lightfoot!  I just figured EVERY WHICH WAY was in the SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT-CANNONBALL RUN vein.  And no it does not surprise me that Clint's film made tons of dough.  Those SMOKEY and CANNONBALL pictures were massive smashes that had great appeal to the NASCAR nation and I suppose EVERY WHICH WAY held that same appeal.

As far as publicity goes, when EVERY WHICH WAY came out, that monkey was EVERYWHERE!  Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, anytime you turned the tv on, you saw Clyde (or a sibling or two).  He was the hit of the talk show circuit with his trainer who always wore a tux (I don't recall his name) and their act would have my family and I laughing hysterically...yet I still wouldn't go out to see Clint's comedy.

I guess I blew it because a few months later it came to HBO and EVRY WAHICH WAY came to be one of my favorite Clint films.  I guess I should have been a little more independent, ignored my friends (and my own snobbish prejudice against "redneck humor") and just gone to the theater to see the film.  It's a great film and in no way is it surprising that it was a smash.
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philo
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2003, 07:27:14 PM »

http://www009.upp.so-net.ne.jp/talkeastwood/page008.html

Here are the top grossing Eastwood films from a Japan site with the $ adjusted .



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KC
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2003, 07:45:33 PM »

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No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
H. L. Mencken.
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Gant
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2003, 10:56:01 AM »

It's an Eastwood film full of action and people getting beat up. That along with a family rating secured it's success.. In hinsight it's not so surprising that it was such a hit.
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Doug
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2003, 04:06:48 PM »

Sure it's a comedy, but the audience gets to see Clint play a different kind of tough guy, a completely down to earth one.  (It's not like he was trying to do a Mr. Mom thing or Mrs. Doubtfire thing.)  And people are suckers for clever animals in movies and the Black Widows are funny.  It's not surprising it had/has broad appeal, and I've always found it to be an enjoyable movie.  
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2003, 03:42:16 PM »

For me this was the very first Eastwood movie I saw in the theater. I was eight and  remember the experience well.  The theater was packed and  people were actually standing at the back of the theater watching the movie.  It had mass appeal at the time and I do think that a lot of it's success was do to the fact that kids love this movie and a big reason for that is Clyde.  Just watched this one last night over at my best friends house and his two year old daughter was absolutely infatuated with Clyde.  She would laugh every time he was on screen.  It's a movie that the whole family can enjoy.  And there are not to many movies Clint makes you can say that about.  
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Doug
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2003, 09:19:51 PM »

Yeah, I was also eight when I saw the movie in the theatre and I loved it then.  
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"Yes, well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy."  Frank Drebin, Police Squad.
mgk
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2003, 02:06:06 PM »

 Thanks, everyone! This thread is now locked.  Please post any additional thoughts you have on this topic in the General Discussion forum.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 07:01:15 PM »

This topic has been temporarily unlocked.  Feel free to post any additional thoughts or discussion here.
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