Home Celebrity Did Jim Carrey Kill the Box Office for “Kick Ass 2”? (Yes,...

The box office this weekend did not produce happy results for the people behind “Kick Ass 2.” The reason was likely Jim Carrey, who was added to the sequel with the hopes that he would garner publicity for the film. Let’s rewind: “Kick Ass” had a $19.8 million opening in 2010, and went on make $96 million worldwide (literally $48 mil here, $48 mil everywhere else). It was a left field hit for Lions Gate.

Carrey was brought in for the sequel, which was directed Jeff Wadlow–the nephew, by the way, of Katie Couric.  Adding Carrey in a showy role meant a news hook when the movie was released. But then the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut happened. Carrey took them to heart– yes, it was awful, but it had nothing to do with “Kick Ass 2.” Carrey began denouncing the movie, and said he couldn’t promote its violence in light of the shootings. He was gone. And with him went any chance of “Kiss Ass 2” doing better than its predecessor.

Alas, “Kick Ass 2” was kicked in the ass by Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” this weekend. The Wadlow film finished fourth, after “We’re the Millers” and “Elysium.” it took in $13.5 million– far less than the first “Kick Ass.” Its momentum has been blunted. Carrey, whose career doesn’t really exist in a meaningful way anymore, has been AWOL. It will be interesting to see how the dozen or so producers on the film– including Brad Pitt, Matthew Vaughn and his wife Claudia Schiffer, plus Mark Millar–respond to the situation. They tried to spin last week saying Carrey’s protest of the movie was going to help them. Now that it hasn’t, they may be singing a different tune.



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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.
2 replies to this post
  1. Exactly, Jos. I used to like Carrey a lot and thought he was absolutely brilliant playing Andy Kaufman in “Man on the Moon.” But his ignorant, sanctimonious rant against law abiding gun owners sealed for me his box office fate.

    And btw, Jim: How many gun murders do you think were committed by NRA members? Just another Hollyweird know-it-all…

  2. I find it interesting how Jim’s rants and insults towards gun owners wasn’t brought up in the article. I have always like Jim and was really looking forward to seeing him in this role. Then he took an uninformed holier than thou stance and tore into gun owners. Now, if he had simply stated his support for gun control like background checks that would have been one thing. But name calling and accusing us of being soulless? Sorry, but myself, along with many others, decided to skip the movie.

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