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The 10 Highest Grossing Movies Whose Actor/Actress Died Before the Release of the Film

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | August 19, 2012 | Comments ()


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The box-office shook down the way most expected this weekend, with The Expendables 2 taking the top slot away from The Bourne Legacy. Expendables 2 opened with $28 million, down 17 percent from the original Expendables opening. I don't know what the budget on Expendables 2 was, but if it was on par with the original's $80 million budget, it may have some difficulty recouping costs on its domestic box office, but it should fare fine internationally (the first made $171 million in foreign territories), which of course means an Expendables 3 is likely. It should begin filming just in time to take advantage of Wesley Snipes' release from prison, although unless they can get Clint Eastwood (or Mel Gibson), there aren't any 80's action stars remaining attractive enough to sell additional tickets.

Meanwhile, Bourne Legacy fell to number two, and after ten days hasn't yet reached $70 million and will struggle to cross the $100 million mark, which doesn't bode well for the future of the Renner-led franchise unless they can persuade Matt Damon to return to what is probably seen as damaged goods now. Paranorman debuted at number three with $14 million, The Campaign was in at number four with $13 million (and $51 million to date), and Sparkle debuted at number five with $12 million.

Sparkle, of course, was Whitney Houston's last film before she died of an overdose, and its $12 million opening is not likely to lead to a box-office pull big enough to qualify Whitney Houston for one of the slots among the 10 Highest Grossing Movies Released After the Death of One of Its Actors. That list looks like this (excluding animated films and voice actors):

tumblr_m910vaaCL11r29a1qo1_500.jpeg10. The Crow (Brandon Lee) -- $50 million

9. Scrooged (Anne Ramsey) -- $60 million

8. Bad Santa (John Ritter) -- $60 million

7. This Is It (Michael Jackson) -- $72 million

6. Bridesmaids (Jill Clayburgh) -- $169 million

5. Gladiator (Oliver Reed) -- $187 million

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Richard Harris) -- $261 million

3. The Matrix Reloaded (Gloria Foster) -- $281 million

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Rob Knox)-- $303 million

1. The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger) -- $533 million

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The other wide release to debut this week (on Wednesday) was The Odd Life of Timothy Green, the young adult movie disguised as a quirky horror film. The movie made $10.9 million over the weekend, and $15 million since its opening. It's also a really heartbreaking film, especially for the kids, as this (cruel) video (via BadAssDigest) can attest. Some parents filmed their poor kids sobbing after the film and put it on the Internet for the world to see. Those boys are so screwed when they return to school, and I hope those kids hold it against their parents for an eternity (which is not to say, we shouldn't enjoy their anguish, though I should note that I wasn't in substantially better shape after the film ended).

As a rando watching that on the Internet, it's hilarious. But, man: That's some bad parenting. Console your kid, don't humiliate him in front of . Jesus.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green reaction video is appalling. Not only is Mom filming it to post on the web, but she's laughing at the kids for emoting. I'm too angry for a droll comment. PARENTS: STOP PIMPING YOUR KIDS - IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

  • ShiningStarLives

    Couldn't James Dean be on this list? at the time (1955) that Rebel without a Cause was released, it was the 9th highest grossing film (in the US), and it was released just after Dean had died.. (about a month later)

  • Bee

    Is it just me or is young Heath reminiscent of Joesph Gordon Levitt?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I thought that too. When I heard JGL was going to be in Batman, I was kind of hoping he was going to take over as the Joker.

  • Wow, I had no idea Jill Clayburgh was dead. She was everywhere in the '70s and then seemed to disappear. It was kind of shocking to see her in Bridesmaids since it was the first time I'd seen her in anything in decades.

  • hapl0

    Can you put Aaliyah's name next to Gloria Foster, please?

  • kirbyjay

    Not sure of the box office take on Network but Peter Finch was up there with Ledger in that he won a posthumous Oscar for being "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore"

  • BWeaves

    Agreed.

    I actually hated Network when it first came out.

    My husband used to quote that movie and he'd never even seen it. So, I rented it a couple of years ago, and damn, if that movie not only held up well, but predicted television as it is today. I revised my opinion of the movie and I now really like it.

  • Bully-G

    What happened to Rob Knox was tragic, but he really wasn't much more than a speaking extra in that film, Marcus Belby is one of a multitude of faceless 'general student' characters.. It seems a bit strange to have him in this list, since I'm sure there are actual famous people with bigger, actually noticeable roles more worth mentioning.

  • pajiba

    Well, the alternative was the #11 film, which starred Bernie Mac (Yay!) but the film was Old Dogs (boo!)

  • hapl0

    I don't know if this is too late but can you put Aaliyah's name next to Gloria Foster, please?

  • e jerry powell

    Surely, though, Whitney will occupy a slot in the Unremarkable-Openings of Remakes with Top-Billed Dead Actors list...

  • Tinkerville

    That young Heath Ledger photo makes me very sad indeed.

  • Jeremy Carrier

    Yeah, and now with Tony Scott dead, this whole article just makes me sadder.

  • Fredo

    That's like the parents who filmed their kids after their favorite sports team loses.

    Who does that shit?

  • LwoodPDowd

    Scrooged is a bit of a stretch for this category. I anyone has the time to find a replacement, the Houston Chronicle had a decent list of posthumous roles (although I detest slideshow lists, at least there aren't multiple ads between slides)
    http://blog.chron.com/celebrit...

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