David Schwimmer Once Rejected a $1B Franchise For a Movie That Barely Broke Even

David Schwimmer Once Rejected a $1B Franchise For a Movie That Barely Broke Even
Image credit: Legion-Media

Well, his Friends paycheck certainly helped him get over it, but still, ouch.

The star of arguably the most iconic sitcom in history once passed up a chance to join a franchise that would go on to gross over $1 billion at the box office, Men in Black, opting instead for Miramax's The Pallbearer.

What was The Pallbearer exactly, you might ask? Yeah, that's the point.

While Men in Black enjoyed its massive commercial and cultural success, the Miramax endeavor proved to be quite fruitless, barely making its low budget back.

It cost $5 million to make the movie, but it only made $8 million in the box office, not really bringing the profit the creators hoped for.

Schwimmer, who portrayed the main role in Miramax's ill-fated movie, initially signed up for a three-movie deal, because he happened to believe in The Pallbearer.

So, when he received a call to join Men in Black, he had to turn it down, no matter how much he wanted to be a part of the future masterpiece.

But it was not just about The Pallbearer.

"I had always wanted to direct. So I had said, "okay, look; I'll sign for a three-picture deal if you let me direct my first film, and cast my entire theater company in Chicago," Schwimmer said.

The aforementioned theater company consisted of Schwimmer's longtime pals, with whom we had worked with long before he became a Friends icon and stepped into the spotlight of the post-sitcom global fame.

So he turned down Men in Black when his first film was in pre-production, and he simply couldn't drop everything — it was "about [his] closest friends in the world, this [was] their first shot at a movie, [his] first shot at directing."

Well, the first Men in Black movie did end up making a whopping $589 million box office, with the entire franchise later grossing over $1 billion, but Schwimmer's reasons?

Absolutely priceless, and we would do the same. After all, it seems that his noble decision to stay with his friends paid off thanks to, you know, Friends.

By season eight, every member of the Friends cast was making $1 million per episode, so Schwimmer managed to stay true to his pals and still make money from acting.