This Week’s Anniversaries In Film

25 Years Ago today was the release of Parenthood, which is currently also a TV series on NBC. Parenthood was a huge box office hit for 1989, and raked in 100M, even making 26M overseas. Adjusted, that would be 200M today. Steve Martin wouldn’t have another 100M hit until Bringing Down The House in 2003. Critics approve of the film, rating it 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences thought it was good with a 7.0 on IMDB. Parenthood was nominated for two Oscars, one for Dianne Wiest, and another for Randy Newman’s original song I Love To See You Smile.  Both were nominated for Golden Globes as well, alongside Martin. It also served as a launching pad for Joaquin Phoenix, who plays in the film as well.

It’s also the 25th anniversary of a controversial, yet classic work, sex, lies, and videotape, which was a Palme D’Or winner at Cannes. Notably launching the career of Steven Soderbergh, sex made 24.7M in domestic box office, after launching in limited release to 155K with a per screen of 38,995… in 1989. That kind of per-screen now would be around 80K. It was one of the first indie breakthroughs, ending up in the top 50 for the year. It has a spectacular 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.2 on IMDB. Steven Soderbergh earned a screenwriting Oscar nomination, and Andie MacDowell and Laura San Giacomo earned Golden Globe nominations.

Today, is the 20th Anniversary of The Mask, which launched Cameron Diaz’s career. The Mask ended up with 119M domestically, and a worldwide gross of 351M. Not only was it Diaz’s first 100M hit, but it was also Jim Carrey’s first 100M film. He would go on to gross 100M for his next 3 films, and in 12 films total. Cameron Diaz wouldn’t hit 100M again until My Best Friend’s Wedding, and has broken 100M 11 times in her career. Adjusted for inflation, The Mask would have made 233M. It is also one of the few Jim Carrey movies appreciated by critics, with a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 6.8 on IMDB. The Mask spawned an animated series, and an awful sequel starring Jamie Kennedy. It is most notable, however, for starting the career of Cameron Diaz, who has grossed almost 3 billion domestically in the last 20 years. Her opening weekend average is 26M. Her worldwide grosses total 6.8 Billion dollars.

Also, the Nicolas Cage romantic comedy It Could Happen To You opened the same weekend, in 6th place. It only made 37M domestically, despite a strong 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. A 6.3 on IMDB means it’s not quite a beloved title. For Nicolas Cage, it was his highest grossing film since Moonstruck, and wasn’t surpassed until The Rock in 1996.

This weekend is the 15th Anniversary of Runaway Bride, the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere reuniting. It opened to #1 with 35M, on its way to 152M domestic total, and 309M worldwide. Critics didn’t like the film with 46%, and audiences aren’t fond of it either with a 5.4 on IMDB. Richard Gere, who only has four 100M hits to his name, would only break 100M one more time since Runaway Bride, with 2002’s Chicago. Since Chicago, Richard Gere hasn’t had a film gross more than 57M domestically.

Deep Blue Sea is also celebrating its 15th anniversary. The Renny Harlin pic, which is a guilty pleasure of mine, opened to 19M in third place, and went on to gross 73M domestically, and 164M worldwide. Audiences enjoyed Deep Blue Sea more than Runaway Bride, with a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 5.7 on IMDB. It was really the film that launched Thomas Jane as a leading man, and it remains his highest grossing film (not counting a small role in Face/Off). It’s not Renny Harlin’s highest grossing film, but it is his last film to make that much money. He hasn’t surpassed 73M since Deep Blue Sea.

This is the 10th Anniversary of The Village, the disappointing M Night Shyamalan movie. Another film with Joaquin Phoenix in it, The Village made 50M opening weekend, onto a final gross of 114M. Worldwide, it earned 256M. Critics weren’t impressed with 43M domestically, and audiences were indifferent with a 6.5 on IMDB. Also celebrating its 10th anniversary is The Manchurian Candidate remake with Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, and Meryl Streep. It only made 65M domestically, but critics enjoyed it, giving it an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, but only a 6.6 on IMDB. This weekend also launched the stoner duo of Harold And Kumar. The trios first trip to White Castle earned only 18M domestically, but critics enjoyed it with 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.2 on IMDB. The sequel would gross double the original in 2008, and a third would do about the same in 2011.

In limited release, 10 years ago today, Zach Braff’s life changed when he wrote and directed Garden State. The indie hit went on to make 26M domestically, and earn an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. Braff has never been able to replicate that success, except in voicework. Co-star Natalie Portman used that as part of her 1-2 Punch to get her an Oscar nomination for Closer, for which she won a Golden Globe.

Five years ago today, Judd Apatow teamed up with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen for Funny People. Too serious to be a comedy, and too funny to be a drama, audiences were divided, and Funny People only made 51M domestically. It broke Sandler’s streak of 3 100M releases back-to-back. Sandler is one of the most bankable actors ever, with 14 100M hits, and an average gross of 83M. Rogen is already getting a huge list for himself, with 8 100M hits.

In limited release, everyone got angry about the murder of dolphins with The Cove, which started its release in 4 theatres with a 14K average. It went on to make 857K domestically, and is the 151st highest grossing doc of all time. Critics praised it, with a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.5 on IMDB.

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