Box Office Column
by Brandon Gray
September 21, 1998
Rush Hour, starring two people who don't speak English very well, just broke the September opening weekend record previously held by The First Wives' Club by $14.1 million. The final weekend gross for the culture clash action-comedy is $33 million. This is well beyond what anyone expected and sets a new precedent for how a September release can perform just as Scream 2, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Titanic changed the rules for December. This opening is also unprecedented for the stars. Jackie Chan's biggest up until now was Rumble in the Bronx with $9.9 million while his following movies opened at around $5 million apiece. Chris Tucker has carried only one movie on his own prior to this: Money Talks, which opened with $10.7 million. Look for both stars to skyrocket up the Star Power 101 chart this week. Also, look for Rush Hour to be number one next week as well despite a precipitous drop.
In other news, Rounders took a much bigger hit than expected, plummeting around 44%. Perhaps people saw little difference between Matt Damon's poker genius and Matt Damon's mathematics genius from Good Will Hunting earlier this year.