- Edge of Darkness box office: Mel Gibson has returned to the big screen, but his big-budget comeback vehicle has failed to pique the interest of domestic moviegoers.
- In other box office news, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Witness star Harrison Ford has just had the worst (inflation-adjusted) opening-weekend debut of his long career.
Edge of Darkness box office: Mel Gibson is back in a big-budget star vehicle, but audiences have chosen to stay away
Jan. 29–31 weekend box office: Martin Campbell’s crime thriller Edge of Darkness, the first Mel Gibson star vehicle since M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 horror sci-fier Signs, trailed sturdy holdover Avatar ($31.3 million) at a distant second, grossing only $17.2 million from 3,066 North American (U.S. and Canada only) locations, as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Some had been predicting that Edge of Darkness would debut in the $20–$22 million range.
The per-theater average of the Campbell-Gibson collaboration was $5,584 – a so-so figure for a mid-level release and a dismal one for a movie reportedly budgeted at $80 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses). Its star having become embroiled in another unpleasant controversy surely didn’t help matters any.
An adaptation of Troy Kennedy-Martin’s 1985 BBC miniseries about a detective tracking down those responsible for his daughter’s brutal murder (shades of Death Wish, Taken, etc.), Edge of Darkness also features Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, and Bojana Novakovic.
Update: The Mel Gibson comeback vehicle Edge of Darkness turned out to be a global dud, ultimately collecting $43.3 million domestically and $37.8 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $81.1 million – thus barely surpassing its production budget.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($5.2 million), Mexico ($4.1 million), Spain ($3.5 million), Australia ($3 million), France ($2.8 million), and Brazil ($2.3 million).
Extraordinary Measures: Harrison Ford has worst (inflation-adjusted) box office debut
Jan. 22–24 weekend box office: At an embarrassing no. 8 on the domestic box office chart, Tom Vaughan’s Extraordinary Measures opened with a dismal $6 million from 2,549 venues.
Starring Harrison Ford – he of blockbusters like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Witness, and Clear and Present Danger – alongside Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell, the $31 million real-life-based medical drama averaged a meager $2,358 per site.
Taking inflation into account, Extraordinary Measures happens to have suffered the worst opening weekend ever of a Harrison Ford movie in wide release. Ford’s previous first-weekend nadir, Sydney Pollack’s romantic comedy Sabrina, debuted with $5.6 million (about $9.5 million today) at 1,821 locations in December 1995.
Update: An all-around commercial disaster, Extraordinary Measures ultimately earned $12.1 million domestically and $3 million internationally (likely incomplete), for a worldwide total of $15.1 million.
Its top international market was the United Kingdom/Ireland ($882,000).
“Edge of Darkness Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Edge of Darkness Box Office: Mel Gibson Comeback Fizzles + Latest Harrison Ford 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 Edge of Darkness, Extraordinary Measures, 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.
Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.
Mel Gibson Edge of Darkness movie image: Warner Bros.
“Edge of Darkness Box Office: Mel Gibson Comeback Fizzles + Latest Harrison Ford Bomb” last updated in October 2022.