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Box Office Details ….. Circa 1974

When I refer to Box Office details, I’m referring to the trade magazine that was issued behind the scenes for theater owners and rental companies.

Always on the look out for some interesting movie memorabilia from years past, I came across a stack of Box Office magazines from a movie dealer I’ve known now for a number of years. Check out this Bruce Lee themed sale from a couple of years ago that I featured.

The magazines I picked up proved to be a window to the past in marketing details and how box office returns were measured. Remember these are the days just prior to Jaws and the mass marketing of the summer movies. After combing through the pile I’ve snapped a few images to share.

First off let’s get this January 7th edition announcement out of the way. Bronson is set to arrive on location at the end of the month to star in his most iconic film.

I also enjoyed some of the press releases that as far as I know never came to pass. Here are a few that jumped off the page at me.

Oliver Reed in Juggernaut? Opposite Harris, I wish! For the record, Harris and Omar stuck around and Richard Lester directed in the end.

More on Ollie is a film I don’t think ever went before the camera. Plumed Serpent? Don’t think Sarah Miles and her hubby got this one off the ground.

Don Siegel is slated to direct The First Deadly Sin based on the Lawrence Sanders novel. I’d like to learn just who he had slated to play the role of the weary detective that was eventually played by Frank Sinatra when the film was released in 1980 under the direction of Brian G. Hutton. For the record, the Michael Caine film referred to in the press release was ultimately released as The Black Windmill.

On the topic of Mr. Caine, “Bloody Hell!” I can’t recall him starring in a movie with Natalie Wood called Fat Chance from director Peter Hyams. Peeper yes. Fat Chance no.

Scanning the upcoming releases I was surprised to see the names Alan Hale and Robert Wilke within the pages of Box Office. I like both actors but were not talking about box office draws here. Sorry gents. But a film called Monkeys of Bandarpur? Not that I can recall. Turns out the director, Wilke and Hale do have a 1979 feature on their resume called The Great Monkey Rip Off. Maybe it sat on the shelf for a few years before getting a release. Feel free with details if anyone knows a thing about this unknown to me title.

A little research tells me that this Harvey Lembeck (remember him) title was released as Horowitz in Dublin but as for the John Derek film listed, I’m at a loss.

Ed Asner in something called The Wrestler? News to me.

Not a title I’m familiar with from AIP but it’s raking in the cash in Chicago.

The new John Ireland/John Carradine thriller had a SMASH opening in Baltimore and that’s even through some “very bad weather.”

There’s a definite exploitation feel to these trade magazines and here’s some featured movies to back me up.

Piano player and Country Crooner, Charlie Rich, who gave us Behind Closed Doors gets a press release all his own.

James Mitchum might be hitting your town to promote his latest release.

The passing of a cowboy hero, Tex Ritter.

The controversy surrounding The Exorcist is still making headlines and courtrooms.

Before Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus took over Cannon Films in a frenzy of 1980 releases they were putting together some gangland productions with Tony Curtis and Jack Palance. I’m not too sure if the Dutchman movie was ever made.

Then there were the sexploitation reviews…..

Thanks to Jennifer Jones, Irwin Allen gets some real ART into his idea of “art.”

Andy Warhol surpasses a cool million at the box office thanks to this camp classic.

With Death Wish slated for release this ad is sure to draw attention.

Might this be the one and only magazine cover that Oscar winner Dean Jagger ever scored in his career? I can’t say for certain but it wouldn’t surprise me. As for the cool artwork on what I imagine was the poster, I’m not so sure it saw the light of day. The film was eventually released in 1977 under the title Evil Town.

It may have taken five years since it’s production in 1969 but it looks as if this Dorothy Malone/John Ireland import featured on this edition’s cover is to finally get a theatrical release.

We’ll close out this visit to 1974 with this classic image of Angie Dickinson in one of her most famous films, the cult favorite, Big Bad Mama.

7 Comments »

  1. Wow. I sure wish I’d have kept all those back issues of Variety from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Thanks for this post Mike – so many memories here!

  2. Thanks for spotlighting your found treasure of “suspect” announcements and information. Interesting indeed.
    Jagger did not end up on the hard-to-find (but available) “Evil Town” poster from 1977. Your magazine cover image was featured, however, on the 1974 re-released theatrical poster entitled “Dr. Shagetz.” I presume the ultra rare original “God Bless Dr. Shagetz” theatrical poster (also available) was found to be offensive.
    Interesting that the disturbing violence in the film was deemed OK. As far as I can tell it’s available only on video as Evil Town.
    You do love Bronson, don’t you? I love Jagger more! And we all love your blog.
    George Turzanski

    • Thought you might like this one George. Thanks for the info on the Jagger flick. A fine character actor and Oscar winner to boot. But he’s no Bronson. LOL. I’ll keep my eyes out for another stack of those. Got any more from a different year in the 60’s/70’s?

  3. I’ve got a whole stack of Box Office magazines form the 1950s and 1960s and Motion Picture Exhibitor for the 1960s and 1970s and the thing I like best about them are the ads. But Box Office had a great regular feature “The Exhibitor Has His Say” where cinema owners and mangers got to gripe about how poorly big films did in their locale.

    • I enjoyed going through these and yes plenty of crazy ads in there from handguns to upcoming movies. On Exhibitor’s having their say, that reminded me of how they would brand a certain star as box office poison as they did Miss Hepburn back in the mid 1930’s.

      • Exhibitors told it like they saw it, for sure, but sometimes these guys were way down the food chain, in cinemas in towns with under 1,000 population so not exactly typical.

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