(Photo by Lionsgate courtesy Everett Collection)
Once, during a long-ago era called The ’80s, Hollywood action heroes roamed the Earth with bulging biceps and names like Sly, Arnold, and Bruce. With a limitless supply of weapons and wisecracks, they saved the world countless times, only to be exiled to the land of Direct-to-Video for their trouble, where they wandered lost throughout the ’90s and much of the aughts. But they’re fighting their way back from extinction, thanks in large part to the tenacious efforts of steely-eyed roughnecks like Jason Statham, the veteran of latter-day genre classics like Crank, The Bank Job, and recent Fast and Furious sequels and spinoffs, who rose to stardom on the strength of his appearances in Guy Ritchie‘s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. To celebrate his bravery in the face of indie dramas and romantic comedies, we’ve rounded up all of his major roles to offer a comprehensive look back at all Jason Statham movies, sorted by Tomatometer.
For its third chart-topper of the year, Warner Bros. is going back in time with its ancient adventure 10,000 BC which aims to revitalize a box office on the verge of extinction. Adding to the mix are Disney’s family comedy College Road Trip and the Lionsgate actioner The Bank Job. With ticket sales hitting a three-month low last weekend, the marketplace has nowhere to go but up.
Roland Emmerich follows up his past blockbusters Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow with the action adventure tale 10,000 BC which looks to dominate the box office with ease. Boasting no major stars, the PG-13 film tells the story of a group of prehistoric tribesmen (who happen to speak perfect English) on a treacherous journey to save their kidnapped friends. Warner Bros. has tossed plenty of marketing dollars behind its big-budget offering as it does every spring with an action title not big enough to beat the summer behemoths.
Given the generic story and historical inaccuracies, look for big drops in the weeks ahead. But the opening weekend should be strong for a few reasons. A solid promotional push promises audiences a huge spectacle on the big screen that is worth paying to see. Plus the marketplace has nothing else exciting, especially for teens and young adults, so that key box office demo will show up in large numbers. The studio will be thrilled if the per-theater average can match the film’s title. Attacking 3,410 locations, 10,000 BC may debut with around $32M this weekend.
Vantage Point posted a respectable sophomore session and could stabilize in the third outing. Sony may dip by 40% to around $7.5M for a cume of $51M after 17 days. Paramount’s The Spiderwick Chronicles will finally face off against another offering for families thanks to Disney and Martin. A 35% decline would leave the fantasy pic with $5.5M for the session and lift the total to $62M.
LAST YEAR: Shattering records left and right, the Spartan sensation 300 exploded on the scene to a colossal opening of $70.9M. Warner Bros. hauled in a mammoth $210.6M from North America and a towering $456M worldwide. Far back in second but with a solid hold was the comedy Wild Hogs with $27.6M. The dynamic duo combined for nearly $100M in ticket sales over the weekend making it a summer-like frame. Three holdovers rounded out the top five with nearly identical figures. Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia captured $6.8M, Sony’s Ghost Rider took in $6.7M, and Zodiac grossed $6.6M for Paramount.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
After struggling at the box office over the last few years, Russell Crowe scored his first number one film in more than seven years with the critically-acclaimed Western 3:10 to Yuma which bumped fellow Hollywood remake Halloween out of the top spot. The weekend’s other new releases, the action film Shoot ‘Em Up and the comedy The Brothers Solomon, both failed to make much of a dent into the typically-slow early September marketplace. The top ten slumped to its lowest point since late April while aside from Yuma, no wide release managed a per-theater average of more than $3,000.
Lionsgate scored its first top spot debut of the year with 3:10 to Yuma which shot up an estimated $14.1M in its opening frame from 2,652 theaters. Averaging a solid $5,317 per venue, the R-rated drama stars Crowe as a captured outlaw and Christian Bale as the man set to accompany him to the train that will take him to prison. Not since his career-making turn in 2000’s Oscar-winning picture Gladiator has Russell Crowe inhabited the number one spot at the box office. Last year’s dramedy flop A Good Year bowed to an embarrassing $3.7M on its way to a puny $7.5M while 2005’s well-reviewed Cinderella Man debuted below expectations with $18.3M leading to a $61.6M domestic total. Critics were very supportive of Yuma giving much praise to the two lead actors as well as to director James Mangold (Walk the Line).
After a record Labor Day weekend launch, the horror entry Halloween plunged 62% and dropped a notch to second place with an estimated $10M in ticket sales. The Rob Zombie-directed film pushed its ten-day cume up to a rosy $44.2M which already makes it the top-grossing R-rated fright flick of the year. Halloween seems on track to finish with roughly $60M for MGM.
Sony’s teen hit Superbad became the 20th film of 2007 to cross the $100M mark over the weekend. The raunchy sex romp collected an estimated $8M, dropping only 36%, and pushed its total gross to a stellar $103.7M. A final gross in the neighborhood of $125M seems likely for the inexpensive $18M production.
Rival comedy Balls of Fury lost half of its opening weekend audience and placed fourth for the frame with an estimated $5.7M pushing the 12-day tally to a respectable $24.3M. The Focus release should end up with $35-38M.
Matt Damon‘s third blockbuster in less than a year, The Bourne Ultimatum, followed in fifth with an estimated $5.5M, off 47%, lifting the cume to $210.1M from North America. The assassin pic joins Shia LaBeouf‘s Disturbia as the only 2007 films to spend six weeks in the Top Five. Worldwide, Ultimatum climbed past $300M making it the top-grossing film in the Bourne series globally with many international markets still to come.
New Line’s action sequel Rush Hour 3 followed in seventh with an estimated $5.3M, down 37%, boosting the cume to $129.3M. Fellow funny franchise flick Mr Bean’s Holiday dropped 43% to an estimated $3.4M giving Universal a domestic total of $25.1M. The global gross has now risen to a stunning $215M.
A pair of female-skewing pics rounded out the top ten. The Nanny Diaries grossed an estimated $3.3M in its third weekend, off 35%, giving MGM $21M to date. Leggy musical smash Hairspray dipped only 28% which was good enough to allow the John Travolta hit to climb back into the top ten with an estimated $2M. Cume stands at $114.9M for New Line.
Opening terribly in wide release outside of the top ten was the R-rated comedy The Brothers Solomon which bowed to an estimated $525,000 from 700 theaters for a dismal $750 average. The $10M production failed to even make the Top 20.
A pair of films enjoyed encouraging and almost identical launches in arthouses over the weekend. The lunar mission documentary In the Shadow of the Moon bowed to an estimated $41,200 from four sites for a solid $10,300 average. The ThinkFilm release was “presented” by Ron Howard and will add more theaters within New York and Los Angeles and expand to Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. on Friday. MGM’s Richard Gere war drama The Hunting Party debuted in four venues as well and grossed an estimated $40,000 for a strong average of $10,000 per theater.
Two competing late-August action titles were tossed out of the top ten. Fox’s Kevin Bacon revenge pic Death Sentence tumbled 62% to an estimated $1.6M in its sophomore frame for a ten-day sum of only $7.9M. Look for a $10M final. The Jet Li–Jason Statham actioner War has done somewhat better and took in an estimated $1.4M in its third session. Crashing 68%, the Lionsgate release has taken in $20.5M thus far and should conclude with around $23M.
Among summer megahits still climbing the list of all-time domestic blockbusters, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix rose to $288.2M after its ninth weekend while Transformers inched up to $311.4M after its tenth attack. The July releases now sit at 31 and 21, respectively, on the all-time list.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $62.7M which was up a healthy 28% from last year when The Covenant debuted in first place with $8.9M; but down 11% from 2005 when The Exorcism of Emily Rose opened in the top spot with $30.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
A record summer box office ended on a high note
with a record Labor Day weekend led by
Rob Zombie‘s new take on the horror
classic Halloween which scored the biggest opening ever for this holiday frame.
The R-rated creepfest grossed an estimated $31M over the four-day
Friday-to-Monday period for MGM and The Weinstein Co. from an ultrawide 3,472
theaters for a powerful $8,932 average. That was enough to slash through the
previous holiday best of $20.1M from 2005’s
Transporter 2 by a stunning 54%.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the pic scored $26.5M and a $7,622 average.
The gross for the Michael Myers fright pic surged ahead of industry expectations
and ranked as the best horror opening since
Saw III‘s three-day tally of $33.6M
from last Halloween.
Marking the end of summer and a time when students begin going back to school,
Labor Day weekend is typically the weakest of all the holiday weekends during
the year. But the overall summer movie season was anything but. The domestic box
office generated over $4 billion led by seven blockbusters that crossed the
$200M mark with four sailing past the $300M milestone. Both were new industry
For the fourth consecutive weekend the threequels
The Bourne Ultimatum and
Hour 3 were back-to-back on the charts. The
Matt Damon assassin smash took in an
estimated $13.2M for a total of $202.6M while the
Jackie Chan–Chris Tucker
action-comedy dropped to an estimated $10.4M for a $122.2M sum. Bourne crossed
the $200M mark on Labor Day.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $112.7M over four days (a new Labor Day
weekend record) which was up 26% from last year when
Invincible remained in
first place with $15.4M in its second session; and up 23% from 2005 when
Transporter 2 opened in the top spot with a then-record $20.1M.
Booze and babes were still in high demand as
the teen sex comedy
Superbad ruled the North American box office for the second straight
weekend despite the arrival of a handful of new releases. Most of the debuting
films were met with disappointing sales since ticket buyers spent their time and
money catching up on popular holdover titles which commanded the top three
The supercool kids of
Superbad remained the leaders of the pack with an estimated weekend
gross of $18M, falling 46% from last weekend. After ten days, the Sony smash has
taken in an impressive $68.6M and could be on its way to $120M or more. That
would give the raunchy hit a domestic gross nearly seven times its production
cost of $18M. Superbad is the first summer film to spend back-to-back
weekends at number one since
the Caribbean: At World’s End which bowed over Memorial Day weekend in
May. Sony has now claimed the number one film nine times in 2007, more than any
New Line’s action-comedy sequel
Rush Hour 3 fell 43%
to an estimated $12.3M in its third mission. The
Tucker threequel has collected $109M in 17 days and is on track to finish
MGM landed in sixth place with a disappointing opening for the comedy
The Nanny Diaries
which grossed an estimated $7.8M. Playing in 2,629 theaters, the PG-13 pic based
on the popular novel averaged just $2,971 per site.
The year’s top-grossing non-rat toon
The Simpsons Movie
dropped 36% to an estimated $4.4M in its fifth frame boosting the cume to
$173.4M for Fox. Paramount’s fantasy adventure
Stardust grossed an
estimated $4M, off only 30%, for a total of $26.5M.
Moviegoers kept going back for more musical fun as New Line’s
Hairspray dipped a
mere 23% in its sixth session to an estimated $3.5M and raised its overall cume
to $107.5M. Rounding out the top ten was the sci-fi flop
The Invasion which
tumbled 47% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.1M. The Warner Bros.
release has taken in just $11.5M in ten days and should end with a miserable
Three national releases dumped into the late-August abyss debuted outside of the
top ten with weak results. Yari Film Group’s well-reviewed boxing drama
the Champ starring
Josh Hartnett opened with an estimated $1.8M from 1,605 theaters for a poor
$1,152 average. Universal’s Latino crime drama
bowed to an estimated $1.4M from 512 sites for a mild $2,805 average. The most
miserable results came from the
film September Dawn
which grossed an estimated $600,000 from 850 playdates for an embarrassing $706
per-theater average for Slowhand Releasing.
In limited release, the
got off to a moderate start collecting an estimated $24,000 from only four
venues for an average of $6,000 on its opening weekend for The Weinstein Co.
Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix grossed an estimated $2.5M,
down 34%, lifting the domestic haul to $283.3M. Despite the midweek launch in
July, the fifth wizard pic should end up with a final take nearly identical to
the $290M taken in by the last installment
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which had a Friday opening in
November which has been the most common type of launch for the franchise.
Buena Vista’s family film
Underdog fell 42% to
an estimated $2.2M and put its sum at $36.6M. A $42-44M final seems likely.
latest comedy blockbuster
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry grossed an estimated $2.1M, down 42%,
and gave Universal a total of $114.3M to date. The comedian has now generated
$100M blockbusters over six consecutive years trailing only Tom Cruise whose
streak is currently at seven straight years. Look for Chuck to end its
run with roughly $120M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.5M which was up 12% from last year
when Invincible opened in first place with $17M; and up 10% from 2005 when
40-Year-Old Virgin remained in the top spot with $16.3M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,
Action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham face off this weekend in the new crime thriller War which leads a flood of new releases pouring into North American multiplexes trying to catch the final dollars of the summer movie season. The R-rated Lionsgate release finds the two playing an assassin and a federal agent, respectively, and will aim for young male audiences. Both actors have solid followings and the combination allows War to offer a two-for-one deal that will make the ticket price well worth it for many fans.
Li’s last films Fearless and Unleashed each bowed to just under $11M with averages of a little less than $6,000. Statham’s Crank opened over Labor Day weekend last year with $10.5M and an average of $4,158 over three days while during the same holiday frame in 2005 his action sequel Transporter 2 debuted to $16.5M with a $5,008 average over three days. Lionsgate has had a strong marketing push on War and should connect with male action fans. Last weekend’s top three films Superbad, Rush Hour 3, and The Bourne Ultimatum will all provide some direct competition, but a solid bow is likely. Opening in 2,271 theaters, War could premiere with about $14M this weekend.
Rush Hour 3 will race past the $100M mark this weekend and could slide by 50% to around $10.5M. That would give New Line $107M after 17 days. Fellow threequel The Bourne Ultimatum should have a better hold and drop by 40% to roughly $12M putting the Universal smash at $185M overall with its eye on the double-century mark by Labor Day.
LAST YEAR: Buena Vista topped the charts with its football saga Invincible which bowed at number one with $17M on its way to a solid $57.8M. Will Ferrell‘s comedy Talladega Nights placed second with $8.1M while Little Miss Sunshine expanded and jumped up to third place with $7.4M. Warner Bros. opened its comedy Beerfest in fourth with $7M leading to a $19.2M final. World Trade Center rounded out the top five with $6.5M in its third frame. Two smaller films debuting far below were Universal’s Idlewild with $5.7M and New Line’s How to Eat Fried Worms with $4M. Final tallies reached $12.6M and $13M, respectively.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the multiplex, you’ll have your
choice between babysitters (The
Nanny Diaries, starring
Bean’s Holiday, starring
the Champ, starring
L. Jackson), Mormons (September
and rogues (War,
starring Jet Li
Statham). What are the critics saying?
The Nanny Diaries features a stellar cast that includes Scarlett
Johansson, Laura Linney, and
Paul Giamatti, and it’s directed by
and Shari Springer Berman, the team behind the wonderfully unconventional
Splendor. So why, critics ask, is Diaries so mediocre? Perhaps it’s
because the tone shifts between dark satire and lighter comedy. Johansson stars
as a woman who takes a job tending to the child of an affluent-but-cold New York
City couple. Pundits say the biggest problem with the film is not the
performers, who do what they can with the material. It’s that their characters
are one-dimensional, and the satire lacks the edge to really make it work. At 24
percent on the Tomatometer, this Diary isn’t held dear.
Previously known as "Rogue" (which is also the title of a killer croc flick that’ll be hitting your video stores some time soon), the Jason Statham / Jet Li actioner "War" will explode into theaters on September 14th. In it, Statham will play an FBI agent obsessed with tracking down a brutal assassin (played by Li.)
Here’s the trailer. The director (Phillip G. Atwell) and the screenwriters (Lee Anthony Smith & Gregory J. Bradley) are all first-timers, but hey, the flick’s got two solid action stars going toe to toe. Looks like enjoyable mindless fun. I hope.
Source: IGN Movies
RT’s "Rogue" set visit culminated with a candid sit-down with the pic’s star, Jet Li. Read on to hear what he says about his upcoming "Fearless," ticket prices in China, and getting a director for "Monk in New York."
Since the early 1980s, Jet Li has cultivated a virtual library of Hong Kong-action starring vehicles utilizing his background as a child prodigy in the martial art of wushu. Despite having over thirty star turns in Chinese-language films by the mid-90s, it wasn’t until he played a menacing Triad member in 1998’s "Lethal Weapon 4" that English-speaking audiences really took notice, and since then Jet has launched himself into Hollywood with his own brand of action (see "Romeo Must Die," "The One," "Unleashed").
With the recent North American successes of action-packed foreign films like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and Li’s own "Hero," the former wushu world champion will soon be bringing another Chinese-language martial arts epic to Western markets, though he’s promised that August opener "Fearless" — a period biopic of a turn-of-the-century fighting master — will be his last epic martial arts hero flick. After that, Li hopes to make his long-in-development, light-on-action project, "Monk in New York" (see interview below). But first, he’s got "Rogue" to finish — and, as Senh and Phu witnessed, there’s still plenty of action left in him.
Senh’s Scene Breakdown: As promised in yesterday’s Corey Yuen set interview, Jet filmed a fight sequence on the ‘Yanagawa Motors’ set of "Rogue" that left more than a few blood spatters on the floor (fake blood, of course).
The sequence took place in the mirrored section of the dealership, underneath the elevated offices in which two other scenes had previously been shot — one with Jet opposite a stern, femme fatale Devon Aoki, and another between Jet and Ryo Ishibashi.
As in the other fight we saw being shot, Jet was battling a few of Ryo Ishibashi’s goons downstairs. Before the shot, prop people gave one stuntman a mouthful of liquid right before rolling. Once action began, Jet appeared to land a high kick to one goon’s throat, with enough force that the goon was propelled backwards into one of the wall mirrors. The stuntman took Jet’s monster kick very convincingly, hitting the wall, causing him to projectile-spew blood.
Red liquid got everywhere, including a few splatters on Jet himself. Once cameras stopped, PAs mopped up the mess, cleaned off Jet, and they did another take! And another! And another! We left the set and they were still shooting the same scene.
Rotten Tomatoes: Can you describe your role in the movie?
Jet Li: I cannot say too much. If you know, it’s not fun anymore.
RT: But you are playing a bad guy?
JL: It really depends on your point of view.
RT: Since the movie pits you against Jason [Statham], who do you think the audience will root for?
JL: I don’t know. Ask them! (laughs)
RT: How is it working with Jason?
JL: We worked together before on "The One." But on this film, we haven’t met yet because the two characters haven’t been in the same scene. In maybe another two weeks we will work together a lot.
RT: You have worked with Corey Yuen for over a decade. What is it about him that made your relationship special?
JL: When you have a friend you work with for 15 years, you become like brothers.
RT: Why do you think of all the Asian actors, you and Jackie are the more successful?
JL: I should ask you (laughs). You know the American audience better than me, why they watch Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies. The audience makes the decision of what kind of actor they want to watch. I always have said in the last 20 years, the real boss is the audience.
RT: You said you no longer want to do epic martial art movies. Do you want to focus more on action or more on drama?
JL: I really want to retire. (laughs) I think "Fearless" is the last one. I won’t do martial arts movies anymore. But in my mind, martial arts movies are martial arts movies and action is action. It’s quite different, because martial arts doesn’t just have physical form; you have a philosophy, internal and external. A lot of it involves your life. How you see the world. An action film I think is just about the movement. I think it’s different.
RT: Why did you decide not to do any more martial arts movies, is it because you’ve done so many?
JL: I put a lot of energy into "Fearless." I’ve said what I wanted to say about martial arts in that film; why I learned martial arts, what is martial arts, martial arts in life.
Jet Li as a rogue assassin named, er, Rogue, in "Rogue"
RT: What do you think of the current state of movies in Hong Kong. When you did "Once Upon A Time In China," they were producing 300 movies a year, and now they’re doing 30-40 movies a year. What do you think of the current state?
JL: The market is smaller and smaller in Asia.
RT: Even with China?
JL: The last few years have been better, but before there was no market.
RT: Why do you think that is?
JL: We can have a three day discussion about it (laughs). It’s too expensive for people to watch a movie in theaters. It costs ten percent of one’s salary to watch one movie, how can anyone afford that?
RT: You’ve been talking about making "Monk In New York" for a while. What is the status on that?
JL: I’m still trying to make it, even with no studio involved. I talk about making a movie with a story about heart, without a lot of violent action in it. Not many studios want to make it. I’m still working on it.
RT: What kind of movies would you like to make in the future after "Rogue"?
JL: I really don’t know. "Monk In New York" you already know about. I want to make that. I already found a director, Wayne Wang. He’s a wonderful director, and I really appreciate his work. Two years already and we’re still putting the pieces together.