Fight Club (Film)



Filming concluded in December 1998, and Fincher edited the footage in early 1999 to prepare Fight Club for a screening with senior executives. They did not receive the film positively and were concerned that there would not be an audience for the film.[46] Executive producer Art Linson, who supported the film, recalled the response: "So many incidences of Fight Club were alarming, no group of executives could narrow them down."[47] Nevertheless, Fight Club was originally slated to be released in July 1999[48] but was later changed to August 6, 1999. The studio further delayed the film's release, this time to autumn, citing a crowded summer schedule and a hurried post-production process.[49] Outsiders attributed the delays to the Columbine High School massacre earlier in the year.[50]

Marketing executives at 20th Century Fox faced difficulties in marketing Fight Club and at one point considered marketing it as an art film. They considered that the film was primarily geared toward male audiences because of its violence and believed that not even Pitt would attract female filmgoers. Research testing showed that the film appealed to teenagers. Fincher refused to let the posters and trailers focus on Pitt and encouraged the studio to hire the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy to devise a marketing plan. The firm proposed a bar of pink soap with the title "Fight Club" embossed on it as the film's main marketing image; the proposal was considered "a bad joke" by Fox executives. Fincher also released two early trailers in the form of fake public service announcements presented by Pitt and Norton; the studio did not think the trailers marketed the film appropriately. Instead, the studio financed a $20 million large-scale campaign to provide a press junket, posters, billboards, and trailers for TV that highlighted the film's fight scenes. The studio advertised Fight Club on cable during World Wrestling Entertainment broadcasts, which Fincher protested, believing that the placement created the wrong context for the film.[46] Linson believed that the "ill-conceived one-dimensional" marketing by marketing executive Robert Harper largely contributed to Fight Club‍ '​s lukewarm box office performance in the United States.[51]

Theatrical run

The studio held Fight Club‍ '​s world premiere at the 56th Venice International Film Festival on September 10, 1999.[52][53] For the American theatrical release, the studio hired the National Research Group to test screen the film; the group predicted the film would gross between US$13 million and US$15 million in its opening weekend.[54] Fight Club opened commercially in the United States and Canada on October 15, 1999 and earned US$11,035,485 in 1,963 theaters over the opening weekend.[3] The film ranked first at the weekend box office, defeating Double Jeopardy and The Story of Us, a fellow weekend opener.[55] The gender mix of audiences for Fight Club, argued to be "the ultimate anti-date flick", was 61% male and 39% female; 58% of audiences were below the age of 21. Despite the film's top placement, its opening gross fell short of the studio's expectations.[56] Over the second weekend, Fight Club dropped 42.6% in revenue, earning US$6,335,870.[57] Against its production budget of US$63 million, the film grossed US$37 million from its theatrical run in the United States and Canada and earned US$100.9 million in theaters worldwide.[3] The underwhelming North American performance of Fight Club soured the relationship between 20th Century Fox's studio head Bill Mechanic and media executive Rupert Murdoch, which contributed to Mechanic's resignation in June 2000.[58]

The British Board of Film Classification reviewed Fight Club for its November 12, 1999 release in the United Kingdom and removed two scenes involving "an indulgence in the excitement of beating a (defenseless) man's face into a pulp". The board assigned the film an 18 certificate, limiting the release to adult-only audiences in the UK. The BBFC did not censor any further, considering and dismissing claims that Fight Club contained "dangerously instructive information" and could "encourage anti-social (behavior)". The board decided, "The film as a whole is—quite clearly—critical and sharply parodic of the amateur fascism which in part it portrays. Its central theme of male machismo (and the anti-social behaviour that flows from it) is emphatically rejected by the central character in the concluding reels."[59] The scenes were restored in a two-disc DVD edition released in the UK in March 2007.[60]

Home media

Fincher supervised the composition of the DVD packaging and was one of the first directors to participate in a film's transition to home media. The film was released in two DVD editions.[61] The single-disc edition included a commentary track,[62] while the two-disc special edition included the commentary track, behind-the-scenes clips, deleted scenes, trailers, fake public service announcements, the promotional music video "This is Your Life", Internet spots, still galleries, cast biographies, storyboards, and publicity materials.[63] The director worked on the DVD as a way to finish his vision for the film. Julie Markell, 20th Century Fox's senior vice president of creative development, said the DVD packaging complemented the director's vision: "The film is meant to make you question. The package, by extension, tries to reflect an experience that you must experience for yourself. The more you look at it, the more you'll get out of it." The studio developed the packaging for two months.[64] The two-disc special edition DVD was packaged to look covered in brown cardboard wrapper. The title "Fight Club" was labeled diagonally across the front, and packaging appeared tied with twine. Markell said, "We wanted the package to be simple on the outside, so that there would be a dichotomy between the simplicity of brown paper wrapping and the intensity and chaos of what's inside."[64] Deborah Mitchell, 20th Century Fox's vice president of marketing, described the design: "From a retail standpoint, [the DVD case] has incredible shelf-presence."[65]

Fight Club won the 2000 Online Film Critics Society Awards for Best DVD, Best DVD Commentary, and Best DVD Special Features.[66] Entertainment Weekly ranked the film's two-disc edition in first place on its 2001 list of "The 50 Essential DVDs", giving top ratings to the DVD's content and technical picture-and-audio quality.[67] When the two-disc edition went out of print, the studio re-released it in 2004 because of fans' requests.[68] The film sold more than 6 million copies on DVD and video within the first ten years,[69] making it one of the largest-selling home media items in the studio's history,[51] in addition to grossing over $55 million in video and DVD rentals.[70] With a weak box office performance in the United States and Canada, a better performance in other territories, and the highly successful DVD release, Fight Club generated a US$10 million profit for the studio.[51]

The Laserdisc edition was only released in Japan on May 26, 2000[71] and features a different cover art, as well as one of the very few Dolby EX soundtracks released on LD.

The VHS edition was released on October 31, 2000, as a part of 20th Century Fox's "Premiere Series" line. It includes a featurette after the film, entitled "Behind the Brawl".[72]

Fight Club was released in the Blu-ray Disc format in the United States on November 17, 2009.[73] Fox Creative chose Neuron Syndicate to design the art for the format's packaging, and Neuron commissioned five graffiti artists to create 30 pieces of art. The art encompasses urban aesthetics found on the East Coast and West Coast of the United States as well as influences from European street art.[74] The Blu-ray edition opens with a menu screen for the romantic comedy Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore before leading into the actual Fight Club menu screen. David Fincher got permission from Barrymore to include the fake menu screen.[75]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.