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Catherine's new movie beaten at the box office

Jun 24 2004

Claire Hill, The Western Mail


A LOW budget Ben Stiller film about the childhood game of dodgeball has beaten Catherine Zeta-Jones' new film at the box office, official figures show.

Steven Spielberg directed The Terminal limped in to second place into the American box office taking only US$19.1m in its opening weekend, compared to relatively cheap to make Dodgeball's $30.1m.

American critics have said the lack of chemistry between leading stars Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones and a few bad reviews could have put off older film-goers.

Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers called it a "fling that even Forrest Gump wouldn't be gullible enough to buy".

Fox's film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story was produced for about US$20m and is the biggest opening film for Stiller so far, coming from first time director Rawson Marshall Thurber.

However, The Terminal was made for US$60m and so far has only managed to recoup half of that back.

Despite Spielberg's announcement about his leading stars, "Together, it's like watching Tom and Meg Ryan for the first time," it seems others disagree.

Casting director Billy Hopkins, who cast Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Barry in Monster's Ball told the New York Post, "They're two mega stars cast with not enough attention paid to whether they really go together as a couple.

"And if the chemistry's not there, it just sort of flatlines the movie."

The Terminal is Spielberg's worst opening since Amistad's US$4.5m in 1997, and worst opening for a national release since Hook's US$13.5m, in 1991. The film is also a second disappointment for Hanks who failed to set the box office alight with his role in the Coen Brothers remake of The Ladykillers.

But The Terminal was hoping, according to Empire magazine, to be a large summer gross for DreamWorks and garner some Oscar excitement.

Experts now don't believe it will hit the US$100m mark, which could prove problematic for its stars in the future.

But there might be a chance for the film to get some more viewers this weekend as the only new film it will compete against is Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, while the other studios watch for the release of Spider-Man 2 on June 30.


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