- Salt box office: Following Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and, most recently, Wanted, Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie has added another action hit to her resumé. Philip Noyce directed the spy thriller, which debuted at no. 2 in the domestic market.
Salt box office: Angelina Jolie spy thriller has good debut in the domestic market
July 23–25 weekend box office: For the second weekend in a row, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller Inception was the top movie at the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office, grossing $42.7 million (down a relatively modest 32 percent from weekend no. 1) as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
In the no. 2 slot, Phillip Noyce’s spy thriller Salt, starring Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted, 1999), debuted with a solid $36 million from 3,612 venues. Mixed reviews or no, Salt will surely hit the $100 million mark domestically, but considering its opening-weekend number there’s little chance it’ll recover its hefty budget – $110 million – at U.S. and Canadian theaters alone.
And that’s why the international market exists. Or rather, it’s the other way around: The international market is the reason – or at least a key reason – for the existence of nine-figure Hollywood productions like this Noyce-Jolie collaboration.
In Salt, Angelina Jolie plays the title character (first name: Evelyn), who, after being accused of working as a Russian sleeper agent, goes on the run while attempting to clear her name.
If the basic premise sounds familiar, that could be because of titles like Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (Robert Cummings needs to clear his name) and North by Northwest (Cary Grant needs to clear his name), Roger Donaldson’s No Way Out (Kevin Costner needs to clear his name), and facsimile. The big difference in Salt is that a woman is the suspect.
Of course, we won’t tell you whether or not there’s a twist at the end.
Salt movie cast
Besides Angelina Jolie, the Salt cast includes Liev Schreiber as a perhaps less-than-trustworthy CIA officer and Chiwetel Ejiofor as a counterintelligence agent, in addition to Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Olek Krupa, Hunt Block, and Corey Stoll.
Kurt Wimmer was credited for the screenplay.
Something else worth noting: After a worrisome late spring, the domestic box office was up 8 percent in relation to a year ago, when the guinea-pig comedy adventure G-Force, the Katherine Heigl-Gerard Butler romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, and Jaume Collet-Serra’s horror thriller Orphan opened.
Global hit, though not on a par with Wanted
Update: The Angelina Jolie star vehicle Salt ultimately scored $118.3 million at the domestic box office and $175.2 million overseas, for an impressive worldwide total of $293.5 million.
The thriller surely ended up in the black, but in all likelihood only after ancillary revenues were tallied.
Salt’s top international markets were Japan ($23.5 million), South Korea ($18.2 million), France ($12.3 million), Australia ($12.1 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($11.3 million), Russia/CIS ($10.7 million), Spain ($8 million), Brazil ($7.4 million), and Germany ($7.3 million).
For comparison’s sake: Also starring Angelina Jolie (along with James McAvoy) and budgeted at $75 million, Timur Bekmambetov’s 2008 action thriller Wanted grossed $134.5 million domestically and $208 million internationally. Worldwide total: $342.5 million.
“Salt Box Office: Latest Angelina Jolie Action Hit” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “Salt Box Office: Latest Angelina Jolie Action Hit” 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 Salt 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.
Angelina Jolie Salt movie image: Andrew Schwartz | Columbia Pictures.
“Salt Box Office: Latest Angelina Jolie Action Hit” last updated in October 2023.