- Drive Angry box office: Once again, Oscar winner Nicolas Cage can be seen in a critically panned star vehicle that also happens to be a commercial disaster. Patrick Lussier directed.
- In other box office news, a trio of Christian-themed dramas opened in the domestic market: The poorly received The Grace Card, targeting Evangelics, and the César-winning Of Gods and Men and the classic Diary of a Country Priest, targeting those who appreciate thoughtful cinema.
Drive Angry box office: Nicolas Cage has dropped another major critical and commercial bomb – and in 3D
Feb. 25–27 (Oscar) weekend box office (cont.): At no. 9 on the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart – smack between the prestigious Oscar movies The King’s Speech and True Grit – you’ll find the latest Nicolas Cage clunker, the critically lambasted 3D horror actioner Drive Angry.
Released by Summit Entertainment, Drive Angry opened with a dismal $5.2 million from 2,290 theaters according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com. Per-theater average: $2,265, which is nearly as low as it gets.
For comparison’s sake: Nicolas Cage’s previous critical and commercial bomb, the semi-historical actioner Season of the Witch, debuted eight weeks ago with $10.6 million from 2,816 locations.
Likely Razzie contender
Budgeted at a reported $45–$50 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses), Drive Angry is on its way to becoming one of the year’s biggest flops. A year or so from now – that is, in case you’re able to remember that this thing ever existed – look for it among the 2012 Razzie contenders.
Besides Best Actor Oscar winner (!) Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, 1995), the Drive Angry cast also includes Amber Heard, William Fichtner, David Morse, Billy Burke, Charlotte Ross, Katy Mixon, and Todd Farmer, who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Patrick Lussier.
Now, one last note regarding the 2012 Razzies: In case Drive Angry isn’t listed among the nominees, don’t despair. Just keep in mind that competition was – as it always is – fierce.
Update: The Nicolas Cage actioner Drive Angry ultimately collected $10.7 million domestically and $30.2 million internationally, where 3D has been, however weirdly, always a plus. Worldwide total: $40.9 million; in other words, it was an all-out dud.
Its top international markets were Russia/CIS ($5.7 million), Germany ($2.9 million), and Brazil ($2.3 million).
As for the Razzie nominations, no reason for despair…
The Grace Card box office: Christian drama has puny debut
Also this past weekend, David G. Evans’ The Grace Card, a poorly received Samuel Goldwyn release targeting Evangelical Christians, debuted with an estimated $1 million from 352 locations, landing at no. 16 on the domestic chart. The “inspirational” drama about finding the Christian god while disavowing racism averaged a paltry $2,954 per site – which means that chances of a significant expansion are less than zero.
The silver lining: The Grace Card was reportedly made for $450,000. In the cast: Michael Joiner, Michael Higgenbottom, and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982).
Update: The Grace Card ultimately collected $2.4 million domestically – likely making the micro-budget Christian drama profitable. International box office revenues, if any, are unavailable.
More big-screen Christianity
Lastly, it should be noted that two other films featuring Christianity as a topic also opened in the U.S. this past weekend. These, however, targeted audiences interested in quality cinema:
- Xavier Beauvois’ César Award winner Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux took in $309,000 from 33 venues, for a just okay $9,360 average. In the cast: Lambert Wilson and veteran Michael Lonsdale (Murmur of the Heart, Munich).
- Robert Bresson’s 1951 classic Diary of a Country Priest / Journal d’un curé de campagne took in $7,674 from 1 venue. In the cast: Claude Laydu as the pious diarist.
”Drive Angry Box Office: Nicolas Cage Drops Another Bomb” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “Drive Angry Box Office: Nicolas Cage Drops Another Bomb” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Drive Angry, The Grace Card, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Nicolas Cage Drive Angry movie image: Ron Batzdorf | Summit Entertainment.
“Drive Angry Box Office: Nicolas Cage Drops Another Bomb” last updated in October 2023.