Not so long ago it seemed that Tom Hanks could do no wrong in Hollywood. In 2000, he had enjoyed seven successive hit films and, with Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford, was one of the biggest box office stars in the business. His two Best Actor Oscars testified to the quality of his films.
But just recently, Hanks has been misfiring. His oddball character in The Ladykillers, his last film, didn’t sit well with his fans and was far from a roaring success.
Now he has the indignity of being well beaten in the US box office at the weekend by the distinctly lowbrow Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, which sold €30.3m worth of tickets, compared to a little over €15.1m recouped by Hanks’ new film, The Terminal.
The takings are all the more disappointing considering the movie was directed by Steven Spielberg.
Hanks plays an Eastern European passenger stranded at a New York airport who manages to fall in love with Catherine Zeta-Jones, while Stiller and Vaughan play rival posers hurling balls at each other.
The only good news for Hanks and Spielberg was that the even more expensive €98.5m Around The World In 80 Days, starring Jackie Chan, only took an embarrassing €5.8m.