Rush Hour 3's Box Office Disappointment: Steve Mason Responds

Hello all,

My name is Steve Mason, and I'm the guy who wrote that $50M was slightly disappointing for Rush Hour 3 (Editors Note: The comment thread spun off into an editorial written by Peter Sciretta comparing the film's box office to Mission: Impossible 3). I've got nothing against Brett Ratner or Chris Tucker or New Line. In fact, I opened RUSH HOUR 3 at my theatres across from USC in Los Angeles (where the film did very well).

The movie business is really just an expectations game. People expected a number in the $60M-$65M range. It didn't get there.

Also, New Line is reportedly paying 40% of the domestic gross to Tucker, Chan and Ratner. Tucker was paid $25M (against 20% of the gross) and Chan was paid $15M (against 15% of the gross). That's not all. Ratner gets $5M (against 5% of the gross) and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson was paid well over $1M.

If the picture grosses $150M domestic, which is very possible, Tucker gets $30M, Chan gets $22.5M and Ratner gets $7.5M. That's $60M right off the top.

Now, here are 2 other amazing caveats. New Line does not have distribution rights in China and Hong Kong where Chan is huge. Jackie has the right to distribute RUSH HOUR 3 in those territories. (Good for Chan!)  Also, New Line made a 2 picture deal with Chris Tucker. The 2nd film has yet to be determined, but he will be paid the same price of $25M vs. 20% of the gross.

All of this adds up to a "slightly disappointing" weekend. You decide how "slight" that disappointment is at New Line.

Steve Mason