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 Box Office: 'London Has Fallen' Tops 'Olympus Has Fallen,' Triples Its Budget

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PostSubject: Box Office: 'London Has Fallen' Tops 'Olympus Has Fallen,' Triples Its Budget   Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:45 am

Box Office: 'London Has Fallen' Tops 'Olympus Has Fallen,' Triples Its Budget

Well, it looks like we’re getting Jupiter Has Fallen in a few years. The Gerard Butler action thriller London Has Fallen has now earned more money worldwide than Olympus Has Fallen. That’s the news as of this weekend, as a powerhouse performance (yet somewhat short-lived) performance in China has sent the film’s worldwide total soaring over the 2013′s action-er grosses. It is yet another case of a genre sequel earning less than the original in America yet making more worldwide thanks to increased overseas bucks. And its strong performance, on a slightly lower budget than the first, seems to guarantee that we’ll get a third Mike Banning adventure.

To wit, FilmDistrict’s Olympus Has Fallen was a somewhat bigger-than-expected domestic smash back in 2013. The first of two Die Hard in the White House movies of the year debuted with a smashing $30.3 million opening weekend and legged it to $98.8m domestic. The film didn’t do much overseas business, limping to $62.1m for a $161m worldwide cume. The brutally violent (and openly xenophobic) thriller, which wasn’t so much a Die Hard homage as it was a riff on those low-budget, hyper-violent straight-to-VHS Die Hard knock-offs that prospered in the 1990′s, cost just $70m to produce.

The guiltiest of guilty pleasures earned extra brownie points for grossing more in America than Sony's $150 million White House Down. Said Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx release, which was a more progressive/big-hearted take on the core premise, earned $73.1m domestic and $132m worldwide, for a $205m cume but again on a $150m budget. The cheaper, nastier option got a sequel while the more expensive (and arguably superior) one did not. And so this March we ended up with London Has Fallen, which was an incredibly rare thing by being a big-budget sequel to a big-budget R-rated action movie. Aside from The Expendables, those have been rare since The Matrix trilogy wrapped up in 2003.

This second film, distributed in America by Focus Features, lacked its predecessor’s insane ultraviolence while upping the jingoism (presenting half-plausible Middle Eastern terrorists during a time when real life Muslims are being harassed and attacked in frighteningly high numbers). London Has Fallen opened with just $22 million and legged it to $62m domestic, on a $60m budget this time. Thanks to stronger overseas numbers, especially China (where it debuted with $24m two weekends ago and has now earned $44m), the film’s worldwide total is now $182m.

So the Gerard Butler/Aaron Eckhart/Morgan Freeman action movie has tripled its budget before even leaving theaters. It’s not an unusual thing when a sequel makes a little less in America and slightly more overseas for a larger worldwide total. But what is interesting about this franchise is that their respective grosses were flipped upside down. The first film earned $98 million U.S. and $62m overseas. Heading into this weekend, the sequel had earned $61m domestic and $98m overseas. Now the new results bumped that overseas total to $120m, which means the film has made 66% of its business overseas.
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Millennium Films has another hit on its hands, one that arguably justifies a third entry. If we get a third movie in the Mike Banning saves the President franchise, it will be the first Die Hard-ish franchise to go three rounds in theaters since, well, Die Hard. And it will join The Expendables as one of the only R-rated action franchises to get a trilogy over the last fifteen years. Of course, it may be part of a new breed, joining the likes of Fox's Kingsman, Lionsgate’s John Wick, and Sony’s The Equalizer. But that’s for another day. Okay, sure, we can all assume the next film will be set in China, but I’m still holding out for

Okay, sure, we can all expect the next film will be set in China, but I’m still holding out for Jupiter Has Fallen followed by Heaven Has Fallen and then the series finale Hell Has Risen.

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