Wolfgang Petersen‘s Enemy Mine (20th Century Fox, 12.20.85) still ranks as one of the biggest disasters in Hollywood history, or certainly by ’80s standards. It was a parable about brotherhood between enemies, but it basically boiled down to The Defiant Ones in space. A lunkheaded human with a limited emotional range (Dennis Quaid) and a hermaphroditic “Drac” named Jeriba Shiga (Louis Gossett, Jr.) are forced to get along and defend each other against hostiles on a sandy windswept planet, blah blah.
I attended an Enemy Mine all-media screening in Westwood with a friend, and said to her as we began to slowly exit the theatre, “That was a baahllagghhd mooovie!” I conveyed this opinion in the gurgly, rolled-tongue patois of Gossett’s “Jerry” character. Here’s a recording of how I sounded.
From David Friendly‘s 12.30.85 L.A. Times story, titled “One Studio Has Seen The Enemy, And It Is Costly“: “Originally budgeted at about $17 million when the movie received the green light to go into production in 1983, Enemy Mine wound up costing the studio more than $40 million in production and marketing costs. (One insider insists the total price tag is closer to a whopping $48 million.)”
The studio (20th Century Fox) naturally hoped for a big first-weekend opening. The film made only $1.6 million at 703 theaters nationwide. As of Christmas day, it had taken in $2.3 million. When asked exactly how much the movie would have to take in during its theatrical run to make its money back, an executive with Fox replied, ‘It doesn’t really matter because it’s not going to do it.'”
Again, the mp3.
A streaming rental of Enemy Mine costs $3.99.