[See previous post: "Bruce Willis A Good Day to Die Hard Box Office: Hit or Flop?"] On the other hand, if compared to Willis’ previous Die Hard movies, A Good Day to Die Hard is undeniably a box office disappointment — though, admittedly, it’s the first Die Hard movie to open outside the late spring/summer season. (Photo: Bruce Willis as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard.)
- Directed by John McTiernan (currently facing a one-year prison sentence for lying to the FBI during the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping investigation), the original Die Hard (1988) brought in $7.5 million (approximately $14 million today) at 1,276 locations on its first weekend in wide release (and second weekend out), July 22-24. Die Hard ended its run with $83 million (approx. $162.5 million today) in North America, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo.
- Renny Harlin’s Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) grossed $21.74 million (approx. $41 million today) at 2,507 venues on its opening weekend (July 6-8), cuming at $117.54 million (approx. $224 million today).
- Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995), brought back director John McTiernan, and earned $22.16 million (approx. $41 million today) at 2,525 sites on opening weekend (May 19-21), cuming at $100.01 million (approx. $185 million today).
- Len Wiseman’s Live Free or Die Hard (2007) opened on a Wednesday, collecting $9.11 million at 3,172 locations. On its first weekend out (June 29-July 1), Live Free or Die Hard scored $33.36 million (approx. $39 million today) at 3,408 sites, ultimately cuming at $134.52 million (approx. $157.5 million today).
If its first five days are any indication of A Good Day to Die Hard’s box office appeal, chances are that this latest Bruce Willis action flick will face an uphill battle to reach $110m — thus making it by far the least successful Die Hard movie ever in the U.S. and Canada.
Die Hard: International blockbuster
Now, considering that Live Free or Die Hard had shown that Bruce Willis’ John McClane was losing his stamina, why would 20th Century Fox come up with another expensive Die Hard movie?
Well, A Good Day to Die Hard’s reported $92 million budget (not including marketing and distribution expenses) may be justified once we look at the Die Hard movies’ international box office figures (not adjusted for inflation): Die Hard $57.75m; Die Hard 2: Die Harder $122.49m; Die Hard: With a Vengeance $266.08m; Live Free or Die Hard $249m.
To date, A Good Day to Die Hard has grossed an estimated $79.6 million in 63 territories, including $61 million this weekend. That represents about 70 percent of the film’s current worldwide gross. And that — the international market — is the reason movies such as A Good Day to Die Hard get made.
Set in Russia, Bruce Willis’ fifth Die Hard movie collected $6.7 million in that country (plus the other CIS countries). The film’s other top territories were the UK with $7.6 million, Japan with $6.8 million, Germany with $6.4 million, and Mexico with $3.2 million. And remember that A Good Day to Die Hard has yet to open in several top markets, e.g., France, Brazil, and Australia.
Die Hard movies’ budget
And finally, here’s another set of comparisons: the Die Hard movies’ budgets.
- Die Hard cost $28 million (approx. $54 million today).
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder cost $70m (approx. $123 million today).
- Die Hard: With a Vengeance cost $90m (approx. $136 million today).
- Live Free or Die Hard cost $110m (approx. $122 million today).
- A Good Day to Die Hard cost $92m.
To match the original Die Hard’s budget-to-box-office ratio, A Good Day to Die Hard would have to gross $273 million at the North American box office. To match Live Free or Die Hard’s ratio, Bruce Willis’ latest Die Hard movie would have to earn $113 million domestically. At this stage, $113 million looks only slightly more attainable than $273m. We’ll see.
Bruce Willis toplines A Good Day to Die Hard cast
In addition to Bruce Willis, A Good Day to Die Hard features Jai Courtney as John McClane’s son, Jack McClane, plus Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed), Cole Hauser (Olympus Has Fallen), Yuliya Snigir (Kokoko), Radivoje Bukvic (Beloved), and Amaury Nolasco (The Rum Diary). Among director John Moore’s previous credits are the Mark Wahlberg flop Max Payne, and the remakes The Omen, with Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles, and The Flight of the Phoenix, with Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson.
A Good Day to Die Hard Bruce Willis as John McClane picture: 20th Century Fox.