Clint Eastwood Doesn't Have Much Truck with Market Research
“When The Gauntlet didn't do as well as hoped, Warner's became concerned that Eastwood was making the wrong choices. He always had a streak of Burt Reynolds redneck humor about him, and when he wanted to play opposite an orangutan in Every Which Way But Loose, Warners' did some market research that indicated a negative reaction to the title, to the orangutan, and even to the idea of Dirty Harry in a comedy. But Eastwood doesn't have much truck with market research and went ahead anyway. It cost about $8 million and grossed about $85 million (about $150 million in today's dollars*), making it his biggest film.”
--Peter Biskind, in the article “Any Which Way He Can,” in his book “Gods and Monsters.”
* The article was written in the early 1990s. So that $85 milliion in 1978, which made it the no. 4 box office hit of the year, which was $150 in 1993 dollars, is approximately $289 million today.