The movie was originally written for Barbra Streisand (Midler’s role) and Goldie Hawn(Tomlin’s role). The plot is a coincidental and playful combination of three previously recognizable stories: Aesop’s The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, and Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.
The production company could not get the rights to film at the actual Plaza Hotel in New York City, so it had the hotel recreated on sound stages. To recoup construction costs, Disney built a sitcom called The Nutt House around it. Jim Abrahams said he staged one of the boardroom scenes based on an experience he had when a large agency used many employees to get him to sign with them.
In the United States, Big Business debuted within the top three on the box office chart and became a modest success, eventually grossing $40,150,487 during its domestic run
- Steve Winwood — “Higher Love” (Steve Winwood, Will Jennings)
- “Little Ole Lady” (Richard Wilbur, Marc Shaiman)
- Benny Goodman — “Sing, Sing, Sing” (Louis Prima)
- “Pennies from Heaven” (Johnny Burke, Arthur Johnston)
- George Benson — “On Broadway” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Barry Mann,Cynthia Weil)
- The Trinidad Serenaders Steel Band — “Music Box Dancer” (Frank Mills)
- “Reilly Theme” (E. Shostakovich)
- “I’m in the Mood for Love” (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Field