This chapter recaps the recent good fortune of 20th Century-Fox, and the studio’s immense hopes and confidence in their late 1967 release Doctor Dolittle. This musical film was far more expensive than Fox’s The Sound of Music, and its marketing budget was the largest in studio history. Executive Richard Zanuck and producer Arthur Jacobs grew nervous when the preview audiences did not show great enthusiasm. With a gigantic merchandising effort behind it, Dolittle was a critical and commercial bomb. Fox was spending with equal extravagance on Star!, in production at several international locations when Dolittle was released. Fox remained committed to big roadshow musicals, with others in early development.
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