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David Poland

By David Poland

Die Hardest

Box Office Mojo is reporting that Fox’s number on Live Free or Die Hard for Wednesday is $8.87 million. That puts the film in position to gross between anywhere between $90 million and $150 million domestic… which is to say that all it tells us is that the film isn’t a monster… good monster or bad. Inconclusive.

26 Responses to “Die Hardest”

  1. TMJ says:

    Wouldn’t the put it in the range of other Part Fours?
    Lethal Weapon 4 – $130 million
    Rocky IV – $127 million
    Police Academy 4 – $28 million
    Okay, fine. So there aren’t that many fours to compare it to. Yet. The producers of INDY and BEVERLY HILLS COP will track this film all summer long.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    But, on the other hand:
    Halloween 4 — $17.7 million
    Nightmare on Elm Street 4 — $49.3 million
    Friday the 13: The Final Chapter (which, of course, it wasn’t) — $32.9 million
    Hellraiser 4 — $9.3 million

  3. Nicol D says:

    Definitley think the producers of a potential BHC IV will track this. That Eddie Murphy franchise has to be one of the most inconsistant of performers. With 2 being a fairly large hit but not as big as 1 ; but 3 being a flat out flop.
    Murphy is huge still but I do not know if the audience is still there for a BHC IV.
    I think it would only work if they went for a big action director and tried to at least get Reinhold and Ashton back in some capacity.
    Indy IV is in another league.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    So now we’re predicting total box-office based on a single day of ticket sales? Yeesh. Kind of sad that the trends are so easy to extrapolate.
    I would have guessed that the flops of Metro, Showtime, and Beverly Hills Cop III would have proven that the buddy-cop thing doesn’t work for Murphy anymore. He’ll never work for a big action director – Murphy’s ego couldn’t handle it.
    Studios are more and more junkies for franchises.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    A serious question, David: In making this calculation, do you take into account that, compared to other summer tentpoles, Live Free or Die Hard may skew a bit more to an older audience, and those folks don’t necessarily rush out to see a movie on opening day? Not trying to start an argument, just curious.

  6. bmcintire says:

    $90M seems a little bit low. I think the average moviegoer a) may not have realized that this was actually opening on Wednesday and simply considered this as opening this weekend, and b) doesn’t go to movies during the week. My guess is that it does another $5-6M tomorrow, and has a roughly $35M weekend, bringing it close to $50M by Sunday night and on target to do at least $125M. Which saddens me because I had hoped this could have been universally ignored.

  7. lesterg says:

    Well, considering that Die Hard 3 barely cracked 100 – I’d say 120-130 would be on-par.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Lesterg: Twelve years ago, $100 million was a lot of money. Consider this: The original Die Hard grossed $83 million domestic ($138.7 million worldwide) in 1988. Seven years later, Die Hard with a Vengeance did $100 million domestic, as you say — but more than twice that amount overseas.

  9. lesterg says:

    Yes and no. While the 100 million benchmark certainly meant a little more back then (only ten films in 1995 hit 100M or more) it still took it a whopping 143 days to get there. It was hit, sure…but the series clearly peaked in 1990.
    If (with adjusted dollars) Live Free meets or surpasses DH:WAV – I’d consider it a minor success. Personally, they should be thanking the Gods if they make that much.

  10. movielocke says:

    Adjusted for inflation, Die Hard, which originally made 83 million made 128 million in 2007 dollars, it sold approx 19mil tickets
    Die Harder, which originally made 117 million made 183 million in 2007 dollars, it sold approx 28mil tickets.
    Die Hard 3, which originally made 100 million made 151 million in 2007 dollars. it sold approx 23 mil tickets

  11. Geoff says:

    You know, Movielock, those numbers you just listed are probably the main reason that Fox decided to go PG-13 with this.
    They are spending, what, $150 million on this movie and all the previous films were rated R (I can remember that Die Hard 3 WAS considered a slight disappointment back in 1995, BEFORE the global numbers hit.) They probably figured they had to increase the upside on this to make any kidn of profit.
    A few years back, when the studios released R-rated sequels to Matrix and Terminator, they at least had the piece of mind that their predecessors were mega-successes – not the case with the Die Hard films.
    Honestly, Die Hard was such a classic and influential film, it amazes me that it made only that much.

  12. Josh Massey says:

    How did Midnight Run only make $38 million in ’88? That movie is also one of the all-time action greats.

  13. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Midnight Run was too smart a movie to have been released in late May/early June. It should’ve been saved for September.

  14. I can imagine plenty of original Die Hard fans waiting to go see this on the weekend when they’re not working all day.

  15. Spacesheik says:

    Mojo now reports the movie opened at $9,111,683 million on Wednesday:
    So yes, at this rate it could do over $125 million, in any case I think the movie will do very nicely overseas as DIE HARD 4.0 (It opened in my neck of the woods day-and-date, packing them in, lots of audience participation and cheering).
    I have mixed feelings, on the one hand I want the franchise to continue, on the other I am pissed that Fox’s PG-13 gamble panned out – we’ll probably never see another R rated McClane actioner.
    And the shocking thing its at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, not quite the POSEIDON we were expecting (

  16. Spacesheik says:

    MIDNIGHT RUN is one of those flicks that I have to rewatch when they pop up on cable – the movie is genius, one of the great action comedies of all time.
    Charles Grodin was absolutely spot on in this flick, at the height of his talents – damn I wished he had made more flicks instead of spending years doing the OJ and “I’m outraged at the world” schtick on his CNBC show.
    After after years of lame Touchstone comedies, playing the Ralph Bellamy role in Chevy Chase flicks and the occasional Neil Simon comedy, Grodin was perfection in RUN: sarcastic, amusing, sharp.
    All the principals in MIDNIGHT RUN did some of their best work: Yaphet Kotto as FBI agent Alonzo Moseley, John Ashton as the Bounty Hunter, Dennis Farina as the Mobster, Joe Pantoliano as De Niro’s associate…
    I am positive this flick has a huge cult following as well.

  17. Spacesheik says:

    Movielocke thanks for the adjusted figures for the DIE HARD trilogy…As far as DIE HARD 3 is concerned, I remember that flick was plagued with negative test scores for the original climax and they had to reshoot the ending (a tacked-on McClane firing at the helicopter climax, which wasn’t that great but had more action than this the original finale – featured here:

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Space: Also, remember that Die Hard with a Vengeance opened just a few weeks after the infamous Oklahoma City bombing. At the time, there were reports that Fox feared how audiences would react to the movie’s opening scene (in which, of course, a building blows up real good). I went to the NY junket for the movie, and I remember the issue popping up at many of the roundtables. I can’t say whether this had any effect on the box-office, but…

  19. Maskatron says:

    I loved Midnight Run! I was first exposed to it while working at a movie theater when it came out. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, need to go stick that on the queue…

  20. Dr Wally says:

    Midnight Run is one of the most perfect movies ever made, period. The more you watch it the more you pay attention to the fact that nearly every single line, every single beat manages to push forward both the plot and the characters, and that every running gag is woven exquisitely (pay attention to the Dorfler ‘Marvin Watch Out!’ gag and how it builds up throughout the film, and how the thwack of the payoff to the gag at the airport at the end fits in so beautifully.) Awesome. As for Die Hard, i’m a huge fan of all three, but i’ve no interest in a PG-13 version (and apparently it’s painfully obvious that it was planned to be R by the poorly dubbed ADR throughout, or by the fact that Bruce can’t say more than a sentence in close-up without a cutaway). And whereas the other movies surrounded Willis with salty turns from actors with strong personalities like Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Fred Dalton Thompson, Robert Davi, Dennis Franz, Samuel L Jackson, John Amos and Jeremy Irons, now we get Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Hey ho. I will see the inevitable R-rated DVD in November instead.

  21. Spacesheik says:

    Joe, you are right, there was some controversy surrounding the opening sequence due to Oklahoma.
    When I first saw DIE HARD 3 I was a tad underwhelmed (although I was a fan of the Jackson-Willis banter); I guess I was expecting gloriously bloody kinetic shoot-outs a la 1 and 2 with some claustrophobic violent encounters thrown in for good measure (the only thing approximating the closed-quarter brutality of its predecesors was a shoot-out inside a bank elevator).
    The film grows on you though, it’s a sharp thriller with some brilliant chemistry between Willis and Jackson; Jeremy Irons was devilishly evil as well. The dialogue was great in #3. Loses steam towards the end (after the tunnel flooding) but the film still holds up nicely even today.
    Excellent supporting cast as well, with the NYP camp: Colleen Camp, Larry Bryggman, Graham Greene.

  22. Tofu says:

    Vengeance is my personal favorite of the series. I’ve yet to find a better flick that encompasses the whole of New York so closely.

  23. martin says:

    I agree, Vengeance has gotten a bad rap and in many ways is the strongest of the three (with Sam Jackson being a particular highlight). DH4 looks like fun, but it does appear to be a bit more lightweight and kid-friendly than the previous films. I have not see it though, so I could be wrong. More than anything, i think DH4 will suffer from some of the sequelitis of this summer, though the word of mouth seems to be good so far.

  24. combat_wombat says:

    I can only echo Dr Wally’s comments on Midnight Run. It really is a virtually perfect movie and may be DeNiro’s warmest and most human performance. Action is grand, banter is witty, characters are rounded and interesting, right down to every supporting role. Love it. Love it.

  25. I’ve never seen the original (weirdly enough) but I remember seeing Die Harder on TV and wanting to rip it’s metaphorical head of. And then I really quite liked With a Vengeance. But then I’m a sucker for puzzle solving. I can’t solve puzzles to save a life (everytime I do a jigsaw with my scary jigsaw loving friends by the time I finally get one piece done they’ve done about 20. I might as well kill myself).
    I even liked the puzzle stuff in Lady in the Water.

  26. jammer69 says:

    I think there should be a True Romance 2. It was a great film.

Box Office

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima