“Producers” Film Fails to Ignite Box Office

News   “Producers” Film Fails to Ignite Box Office
In its first weekend in nationwide release, the film of “The Producers” — based on the Tony-winning Mel Brooks musical of the same name — brought in only $1,291,000 at the box office.

The tally was a decrease of over 40 percent from the film's previous weekend box-office take. To date the Susan Stroman-directed film has grossed just over $17 million.

"The Producers" opened in limited release Dec. 16 and brought in $156,000 over that weekend, playing on just six screens. The Brooksfilms production — released by Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures and produced by Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger — opened on 1,200 screens Dec. 25. The movie, which reunites original stage stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, expanded further on Friday, Jan. 13.

Comparatively, “Rent” — the other movie musical of the season — hit movie theatres across the country Nov. 23, earning $5.3 million in its first day of release and $10.7 million during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It earned $4.6 million over the Dec. 2-4 weekend and $2 million over the Dec. 9-11 weekend. To date, the movie musical has grossed $29 million. The DVD of the film is scheduled for release Feb. 21.

"The Producers" stars Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as Leo Bloom with Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Uma Thurman as Ulla and Will Ferrell as Franz Liebkind. The motion picture also boasts cameo appearances by such theatre stars as Brent Barrett, Andrea Martin, Debra Monk, Jai Rodriguez, Richard Kind, Jonathan Freeman, Ruth Williamson, Michael McKean, Marilyn Sokol, Peter Bartlett and Ronn Carroll.

The original 1968 "The Producers" film about a conniving producer starred Zero Mostel as producer Bialystock and Gene Wilder as Bloom. Others in the cast included Kenneth Mars as Franz Liebkind, Renée Taylor as Eva Braun, Christopher Hewett as Roger De Bris, Lee Meredith as Ulla and Andréas Voutsinas as Carmen Giya. Mel Brooks won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for "The Producers," and Gene Wilder was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The Producers, winner of 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, continues to play at Broadway's St. James Theatre.

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