3 comments on “Ray Harryhausen’s Legacy: The Golden Age of Special Effects in Science Fiction & Fantasy Films

  1. Clash of the Titans was an phenomenal box office hit. To say it wasn’t as successful as they hoped it would be is ridiculous. I don’t know where you got that information but it is dead wrong. It helped save MGM from bankruptcy! It made tens of millions of dollars world wide. The most successful film Ray ever made!

    • The film was only the eleventh highest grossing film of 1981 with $40,000,000 in North America. After the unprecedented success of films like “Star Wars” (’77), “Superman” (’78) “Superman II” (’80), “The Empire Strikes Back” (’80), and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (’81), making only $40,000,000 when the bigger hits were bringing in upwards of $100,000,000, made “Clash of the Titans” by comparison a modest success. Both Schneer and Harryhausen had stated that it did not have the kind of reception they’d hoped for, feeling that its special effects did not seem up to par for the new standards being set by the films of Lucas and Spielberg. It also must be figured in that the film’s budget was increased by MGM in order to hire stars such as Laurence Olivier, Ursula Andress, and Maggie Smith. The film’s gross was indeed respectable and it was very popular, but it was not the grand blockbuster that MGM or the filmmakers had hoped it might be. If it had been, MGM would not have passed on what would have been Schneer’s and Harryhausen’s sequel, “Force of the Trojans”. This was the film that made them choose to retire.

  2. It grossed over $60 million world wide on a $15million dollar budget, that is a HUGE return. It was in the top 10 box office hits of the summer, which is saying something for a summer like 1981 was!

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