Sunday, May 26, 2024

Valentine’s Day Massacre: Bruce Willis “Die Hard 5” Beaten by Chick Flick in Debut


Once, they ruled the world. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis. From the mid 80s to mid 90s, they were tops at the box office. They also made countless appearances for Planet Hollywood, where they were all partners. But the pendulum has swung. Last night, Willis’s “A Good Day To Die Hard” placed second on its opening night–Valentine’s Day– to a shmooshy romance vehicle called “Safe Haven.” They are the lowest rated films this week on Rotten Tomatoes– 12% and 11%. They are bad, bad movies but it doesn’t matter. What does matter: Bruce Willis and explosions were toppled by hazy walks on the beach. Ouch!

“Haven” ($8.9 mil)  beat “Die Hard” ($8.3 mil) by $600,000– and it was playing in fewer theaters.

Willis follows Stallone and Schwarzenegger into the twilight of action hero status. Stallone’s “Bullet to the Head” has made $8 million, and won’t make it to $20 million. That’s what Stallone used to get for being in his movies. No more. And Arnold? “The Last Stand” is leaving the box office with $12 million in the till. It’s not enough to for a gold plated Humvee.

“Die Hard” 5 will have just this weekend to do something– surprise everyone, maybe, pull ahead of “Safe Haven.” But Willis, unlike the other two, has a lot going for him: he can act, he’s funny, and he can even do theater. He has a lot of possibilities. But more “Die Hard” is not one of them.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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