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Max Payne Box Office: Mark Wahlberg Thriller Is Major Dud

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Max Payne Mark WahlbergMax Payne with Mark Wahlberg: Global box office flop.
  • Max Payne box office: Featuring Mark Wahlberg as a black-hearted avenger, John Moore’s neo-noir thriller will unquestionably become a domestic money-loser.
  • Faring even worse than Max Payne are Gina Prince-Bythewood’s female-centered period drama The Secret Life of Bees, featuring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah, and Oliver Stone’s political drama W., with Josh Brolin as the globally reviled U.S. President George W. Bush.

Max Payne box office: Mark Wahlberg thriller tops limp weekend chart

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Oct. 17–19 weekend box office: Starring Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, 2006) as an avenging New York cop out to find those responsible for the murder of his wife and child, John Moore’s neo-noir thriller Max Payne topped the domestic chart with $17.6 million from 3,376 theaters as per final studio figures found at

That’s a downright mediocre opening for a $35 million production (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses) targeting younger moviegoers. Expect Max Payne to disappear from view in the very near future.

Besides Mark Wahlberg, Max Payne features Mila Kunis, Chris O’Donnell, Ludacris, Nelly Furtado, Olga Kurylenko, and veteran Beau Bridges (Gaily, Gaily; The Landlord). 20th Century Fox released this big-screen adaptation of the video game series by Remedy Entertainment.

Update: The Mark Wahlberg thriller Max Payne ultimately collected a flaccid $40.7 million domestically and $46.4 million internationally, for a money-losing worldwide total of $87.1 million.

Its top international markets were Russia/CIS ($6.5 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($3.8 million), Spain ($3.3 million), France ($3.2 million), and Germany ($3 million).

The Secret Life of Bees & George W. Bush movie disappoint domestically…

Trailing Max Payne and last weekend’s champ Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($11.4 million), Gina Prince-Bythewood’s female-centered interethnic period social drama The Secret Life of Bees debuted with a meager $10.5 million from 1,591 venues. Expect this one to disappear even faster than Wahlberg’s thriller.

In the cast of this Fox Searchlight release: Dakota Fanning, Oscar nominees Queen Latifah (Chicago, 2002) and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, 2004), Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, 2006), Alicia Keys, and Paul Bettany. Budget: $11 million.

At no. 4, Oliver Stone’s unenthusiastically received political drama W. – about the current president of the United States, George W. Bush – opened with a paltry $10.5 million from 2,030 locations. That’s an even weaker debut than The Secret Life of Bees’.

But really, who would want to pay to watch the Bush disaster unfold on the big screen when you can experience it live free of charge?

In the cast of this Lionsgate release: Josh Brolin, Oscar nominee James Cromwell (Babe, 1995), Elizabeth Banks, Scott Glenn, Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd, and veteran Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, 1974). Budget: $25 million.

… and fare far, far worse internationally

Update: Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Secret Life of Bees ultimately collected a respectable (relative to its small budget) $37.8 million domestically.

As to be expected for a low-budget movie about American themes and featuring no international stars, the socially conscious drama bombed overseas: $2.2 million (though likely incomplete), for a worldwide total of $40 million – which, on the upside, should have made this modest production modestly profitable.

The Secret Life of Bees’ top international market (among those listed at Box Office Mojo) was, of all places, Norway ($384,000).

Oliver Stone’s W. ultimately collected a mere $25.5 million domestically. As to be expected for a starless, awards-season-buzzless movie about an American political figure, W. bombed overseas: $4 million (though likely incomplete), for a money-losing worldwide total of $29.5 million.

W.’s top international markets (among those listed at BOM) were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($1.5 million) and France ($1.2 million).

Max Payne Box Office: Mark Wahlberg Thriller Is Major Dud” notes

Unless otherwise noted, “Max Payne Box Office: Mark Wahlberg Thriller Is Major Dud” 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,, etc.).

Comments about Max Payne, The Secret Life of Bees, W., 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.

Mark Wahlberg Max Payne movie image: 20th Century Fox.

Max Payne Box Office: Mark Wahlberg Thriller Is Major Dud” last updated in October 2023.

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1 comment

Beekeeping -

Well, Max Payne is well-chosen for that movie, but I was even more surprise by the fact that Gina Prince-Bythewood’s adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees comes to third. She’s great!


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