'Rush Hour 3' Chokes

by Paul William Tenny

You know, since quality is so subjective, the best metric for predicting a films box office success or failure is taking a hard look at how much it cost to make. Since theaters take about 45% of ticket sales, a film has to double its costs just to break even, and people rarely count marketing expenses which can sometimes double that magic number. Each successive installment of Rush Hour has cost more than the previous, made more than before, but the percentages have stayed about the same so that if the costs hadn't increased, the profit would have marched upwards instead of staying flat.

It looks like Brett Ratner finally let his interest in big budgets get the best of him, as Rush Hour 3 opened yesterday 20% off the first sequel, but as I said, cost quite a bit more to make. Don't get me wrong, as Variety noted this is still a decent opening. $18.5 million on the first day is nothing to laugh at, certainly, it's just disappointing and means this iteration may have a hard time making back its money in its theatrical run.

Stardust predictably choked with just $3 million in sales against a $70 million budget. That my friends is a bona fide flop. It just didn't have wide enough appeal, and I've often made the argument that trailer for a heavily character-driven story will murder interest right off the bat. I still don't know what Stardust is about, and I've actually written about the film and read a lengthy description on the movies own website. That's not a good sign.

I'll give the full breakdown on the weekend box office on Monday.


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