Eastwood, Fockers set new records

Eastwood, Fockers set new records March 27, 2005

Gadzooks, can’t let a day go by without blogging. So I’ll just toss some box-office trivia out there.

With $498.2 million in the till worldwide, Meet the Fockers (my review) is now being touted as the top-grossing live-action comedy of all time — which is apparently a testament to how unusually popular this film is overseas, where comedies normally don’t translate as well as action movies and the like. I am not sure how I feel about this. I suppose another, even more popular comedy will come along some day and set a brand-new record. And for that matter, the accuracy of this claim may depend on how we categorize such amusing but action- and effects-heavy films as, say, 1997’s Men in Black ($589.4 million).

Meanwhile, Million Dollar Baby is still in the weekly top ten, and with a domestic take of $94.2 million to date, it has already passed Space Cowboys to become Clint Eastwood’s 2nd-highest-grossing film as director (after 1992’s Unforgiven, $101.2 million), and his 3rd-highest-grossing film as actor (after Unforgiven and 1993’s In the Line of Fire, $102.3 million). This is remarkable for a film that, by all accounts, Warner Brothers was very reluctant to produce, even with a budget in the tiny $25 – $30 million range. (I love the way Eastwood has talked about how Warner ignored his film and let it slip by under the radar while they focused all their efforts on the expensive mega-flop Alexander!)

Incidentally, it seems Eastwood’s biggest box-office success of all time — once the figures are adjusted for inflation — might be that orangutan movie, Every Which Way but Loose, which raked in $85.2 million way back in 1978. Only five of his movies have made more money than that, all of which came out after 1992, by which point ticket prices had gone way up and the dollar had gone way down.

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