The desperate Dolittle patch-up job: How rewritten scripts delayed the ...

Rewritten scripts and adding more animal scenes to Universal Pictures' Dolittle delayed its release by nearly nine months.

The film - in which a doctor, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr, has the ability to talk to animals - opens in theaters on Friday with a $175million budget.

But studio executives were unsatisfied with a test screening of the film in fall 2018 and demanded more comedic lines, more computer generated animals and an overall more lighthearted tone, reported The Wall Street Journal.

This led to three weeks of reshoots with two new directors and screenwriters to make the film more appealing to family audiences and those overseas, although early reviews have been less than kind.   

Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr, began production in March 2018 and is set to be released on Friday. Pictured: A still from Dolittle with Harry Collett (left) and Downey Jr (right)

Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr, began production in March 2018 and is set to be released on Friday. Pictured: A still from Dolittle with Harry Collett (left) and Downey Jr (right)

Universal Studios executives felt the test screening of the first version was not lighthearted enough. Pictured: A still from Dolittle with Dab-Dab, voiced by Ocativa Spencer

Two new directors were hired to rewrite scripts and add more animal scenes, delaying the film's release for nine months. Pictured: A still from Dolittle with Downey Jr (left) and Collett (right)

Universal Studios executives felt the test screening of the first version was not lighthearted enough. Two new directors were hired to rewrite scripts and add more animal scenes, delaying the film's release for nine months. Pictured: A still from Dolittle with Dab-Dab, voiced by Ocativa Spencer, left; and a scene from the film with Downey Jr and Collett

The Journal notes that with box office revenues falling and international sales making up a larger share of the market, there is a need to connect with a broader audience.

Additionally, several studios are trying to create films that can create sequels or even spin-offs, similar to Disney.

What's more, January is among one of the worst months for movies, when several studios release their projects that they know will not make a great deal of money commercially.

A Universal insider told The Journal that the studio expects Dolittle to make around $25million this weekend - very small compared to the movie's large budget.

That's also less than another film opening this weekend, Bad Boys for Life, is expected to make.

Box Office Report projects the

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