- Limitless box office: Starring Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer who becomes an unusual type of drug addict, Neil Burger’s sci-fi thriller was the no. 1 title in the domestic market this past weekend. Although that’s not as good as it sounds, this modestly budgeted release could still turn out to be profitable.
Limitless box office: Starring Bradley Cooper, sci-fi thriller has barely okay domestic debut – but could still end up in the black
March 18–20 weekend box office: Directed by Neil Burger and starring Bradley Cooper, the Relativity Media-distributed sci-fi thriller Limitless topped the tepid North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart, grossing a less-than-spectacular $18.9 million from 2,756 theaters according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
The silver lining for this last-gasp-of-winter release: Limitless, which received mixed reviews, reportedly cost a modest $27 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
For comparison’s sake: Directed by George Nolfi and starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, two weekends ago Universal Pictures’ sci-fi-ish thriller The Adjustment Bureau – which, like Limitless, was unenthusiastically received by critics – opened with $21.2 million from 2,840 locations, ending its run with $62.5 million domestically, in addition to $65.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $127.9 million. Budget: $50.2 million.
In case Limitless reaches as much as $100–$110 million globally, it will turn out to be – unlike the costlier The Adjustment Bureau – a successful endeavor.
Limitless movie cast
Besides Bradley Cooper as a floundering writer who, after taking a nootropic drug, acquires the ability to use his brain to its fullest capacity, the Limitless movie cast includes Abbie Cornish as the writer’s ambivalent girlfriend, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth, Andrew Howard, and two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, 1974; Raging Bull, 1980) as a finance tycoon who takes advantage of the writer’s enhanced mental prowess.
Leslie Dixon (also one of Limitless’ producers) adapted Alan Glynn’s 2001 novel The Dark Fields.
Surprisingly strong global performance
Update: The Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless ultimately collected a far better than expected $72.2 million domestically and an even better (estimated) $82.6 million internationally. Worldwide total: $161.8 million.
Considering the thriller’s modest budget, that’s a hugely profitable global cume.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($13.8 million), Australia ($8.1 million), France ($7.8 million), Russia/CIS ($6.2 million), Spain ($5.6 million), and Italy ($5.5 million).
Japan isn’t included on the Box Office Mojo chart.
”Limitless Box Office: Bradley Cooper Thriller Breaks No Records” notes
Two other new releases opened with a thud in the domestic market: Brad Furman’s legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey, and Greg Mottola’s comic sci-fier/road movie Paul, featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Unless otherwise noted, “Limitless Box Office: Bradley Cooper Thriller Breaks No Records” 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 Limitless 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.
“Limitless Box Office: Bradley Cooper Thriller Breaks No Records” last updated in October 2023.