Sunday, May 26, 2024

“Richard Jewell” Gives Clint Eastwood Lowest Box Office Since 2006’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” — 11 Movies Ago


First of all, think of this: Clint Eastwood has made 11 movies since 2006’s “Letters from Iwo Jima,” which was in Japanese. And that was his second movie of 2006. The first was “Flags of Our Fathers.”

Now, “Richard Jewell” turns out to be his lowest grossing movie since “Iwo Jima” made $14 million– and was nominated for an Oscar. “RJ” is ending its theatrical run with about $21 million.

What a shame. It should have been nominated for an Oscar, and its actors as well. As it turns out, Kathy Bates has received an Oscar nomination. But Sam Rockwell, Paul Walter Hauser, and Olivia Wilde should have, too.

But when the Atlanta Journal Constitution attacked “Richard Jewell,” Warner Bros. just backed off and dumped the movie. There was no New York premiere, and not much chance for the movie’s champions to save it.

Last Friday, “Richard Jewell” was pulled from about 1500 theaters. It’s down to 376 this week and then it will disappear into streaming and DVD land. Eastwood is 89 years old. This could be his last film. He told me recently he had no plans for a new movie but was “reading scripts.”

What a run he’s had the last 28 years. His master-master piece was 1992’s “Unforgiven,” and that came 30 years into a remarkable career. Since then he’s had “Mystic River,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Gran Torino,” “Sully,” the underrated “Perfect World” with Kevin Costner, “Trouble with the Curve,” “Space Cowboys” “J Edgar,” “The Mule,” and so many more. My guess is, Clint isn’t done. But maybe next time he’ll get more studio support.

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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