The Surest Sign That Chris Hemsworth's Formula One Racing Movie, 'Rush' Is Destined to Fail at the Box Office
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The Surest Sign That Chris Hemsworth's Formula One Racing Movie, 'Rush' Is Destined to Fail at the Box Office

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 12, 2013 | Comments ()


Let me throw some facts at you:

Box office total for Turistas: $7 million.

Box office for Justin Timberlake’s Alpha Dog: $15 million.

Box office for Jack Black’s Year One, a $60 million comedy: $43 million

Box office for Fix, a movie no one has ever heard of: $9,890

Box office for Russell Crowe’s The Next Three Days: $22 million

Box office totals for Tron Legacy, the $170 million budgeted movie: $172 million (and widely considered a disappointing take).

Box office for Cowboys and Aliens, the $163 million Daniel Craig/Harrison Ford film: $100 million.

Box office for the $52 million film, The Change-Up: $37 million

Box office for the Justin Timberlake $40 million sci-fi flick, In Time: $37 million.

Box office for the Chris Pine $16 million film, People Like Us: $12 million

Box office for The Words, with Bradley Cooper: $12 million

Box Office for Jennifer Garner’s Butter: $105,000.

Box office for Deadfall, with Eric Bana: $66,000.

Box office for the $30 million The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell: $22 million.

Box office for Drinking Buddies: $143,000.

What do many of these movies have in common? They featured A-list leading men (or at least, actors once considered A-list).

What do all of these films have in common? They were either box-office disappointments, or outright box-office bombs.

What else does every single of of those films have in common?


That’s right. Every single one of them featured Olivia Wilde.

Who is in Rush, along with current A-lister, Chris Hemsworth?


There is no doubt that Olivia Wilde is a swell lady, and a gifted actress (particularly when it comes to comedy). However, she has had some terrible luck with the movies she’s chosen to be in, and I suspect the same bad luck will befall Rush, a Ron Howard movie with little buzz coming out at the end of September. It doesn’t help, either, that Howard hasn’t had a box-office hit that didn’t involve Tom Hanks and a Dan Brown novel in over a decade.

Somebody, please, put Olivia Wilde in a proven franchise, so she can break the Elizabeth Banks’ nice-lady box-office curse.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jifaner

    I love Olivia Wilde. LOVE her. This list makes me sad.

  • tjedison

    Wasn't there a big movie about formula 1 in the late 60s/early 70s? The name escapes me.

  • Jiffylush

    She is in a lot of movies that haven't done well, but I don't think any of them haven't done well because Olivia Wilde was in them.

    She was wonderful in Drinking Buddies and considering that it was released on VOD at the same time it launched in a limited number of theaters (maybe even before?) I think most of it's money will be from DVD and other non-box office sources.

    I saw Ron Howard talking about this movie with Clarkson on Top Gear, this movie is going to kill in europe.

    Now I am not saying that this is going to be the F1 version of Bend it like Beckham, but I feel like there are way more americans that watched that movie than follow soccer. So F1 not being a popular sport in america may have no bearing on the success of this movie.

  • I assume we're lumping Jennifer Garner into the "A list actor" category, and not the "A list leading man" category?

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    *IMPORTANT EDIT - turns out I misread ReelSmartCookie's intent on her post above. She was pointing out that Garner is the only woman on the list, and therefore it's an actor list, not a "man" list.

    Here's my original response that is no longer appropriate:

    really? After all the gender stuff that goes on here in Pajiba land you gotta do the "Garner looks like a man"?

    'cause what, her boobies are big enough? her waist isn't small enough?

    Without being her GYN/OB, it appears that she has given birth to multiple children, thereby confirming her genetic makeup as female.

    Go ahead and call her a shitty actress, or overrated, or even make fun of her personality. You can even *gasp* make comments about her looks overall (too tall, ugly, bad skin, strange posture, whatevs).

    But the fucking "she looks like a man" bullshit is verging on misogyny.

  • I'll second your "really" right back at you. I was not commenting on Garner's looks or qualities as a woman, although I can maybe see where you'd get reactive and run with that idea.

    What I was actually commenting on was this sentence in the article:

    "What do many of these movies have in common? They featured A-list leading men (or at least, actors once considered A-list)."

    Garner is the sole woman named as the A list talent on the list, but that sentence lumps everyone together as dudes, or actors.

    For the record: I happen to have a long standing lady-crush on Jennifer Garner, own 4 seasons of Alias, and willingly sat through Elektra AND that fucking terrible Arthur remake for her. I think she's stunning, talented, and was not commenting on her looks or her in general.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Gotcha. I totally misread your sentence!

    I guess I jumped there because I have read lots of "Garner looks like a man" commentary over the years.

    I take back my reaction, but stand by the concept that calling Garner a "man" is pretty crappy. So it is now aimed at others, not you!

  • Thanks! And, I agree that anyone implying she's at all man-like is crappy and uncalled for!

  • I just know it'll suck because his hair is AWFUL.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    The hair is pretty close to dead on for the character he's playing. The Storyline of the movie is fascinating. I wonder if it will have the necessary volume of nudity and drugs to be accurate. James Hunt was once found having sex with some woman he just met while they were supposed to be strapping him into his car.

    Before one of his biggest wins he evidently was on a week long coke and alcohol bender until hours before the race. His appitite for debauchery was insane and rapacious.

    Here's a hair pic of Hunt himself. do an image search for his iconic t-shirt about his girlfriend and "box"

  • Wigamer

    He looks like a Hobbit.

  • Batman

    The Summer Glau of movies

  • Sean

    I am not sure that is an insult. I think a lot of people LOVE Glau.

  • Batman

    Well Glau has a rep for being on shows that don't last long.

  • csb

    I'm pretty sure this is a film that will be looking more towards its international box office than its US take.

  • Sean

    Not exactly fair to criticize the box office of tiny little movies that actually didn't get released in real theaters. She isn't a movie star. She could be, with the right movie. But that is true of almost any actor. She is a solid "the girl" in movies. Interchangeable with a dozen or more 25-35 yr old actresses. Above average in comedies. Well, above actually. She seems more likable than most, so she will keep working.

  • Repo

    You forgot the Black Donnellys. Well, everyone did.....sob...

  • Parsnip

    This film was given the thumbs up from Nikki Lauda. He said overall the film captures the essence, energy and excitement of F1. He added, the film does deviate from the truth a little, in its portrayal of him (he wasn't as straight laced) and his relationship with Hunt (they were friends) but he understood the need for artistic licence. I saw a doc. called LAUDA vs HUNT (I think), Lauda recalled when he was in hospital following his horrific crash he was given last rites. He waited for the priest to finish expecting he'd stick around to speak words of comfort and all that but he didn't, the priest walked out without saying a word. Lauda was so angry and upset he decided he couldn't die. Rest, as they say, is history.

  • Davis

    She isn't good at all. She is just a mediocre tv actress who got a bit popular and thought she could make movies every movie she's been in has bombed(as stated in the article) and she's isn't good at comedy who told you that? Please don't try and make her a comedy actress now, just stick her in a CBS show have her go away.

    She's a stillborn actress, you know months in advance that her movies are going to flop. We've already got a pseudo intellectual who can't act her name is Scarlett Johannson

  • $27019454


    That's MY bottom line, baby.

  • Sean

    He does in the trailer. More than once. I assume that those shots are included in the actual movie. They better be there, since the woman I am taking to see the movie main interest in the movie was Thor without a shirt. Anything to get her in the mood...

  • Robert

    I thought Rush was getting surprisingly good reviews out of TIFF. Like, people came in to hate on Ron Howard and walked out really impressed with what he did. That's enough for the distributors to buy into a bigger advertising push other than the trailer they've been playing every weekend in front of every adult-targeted movie released in the US since February.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Olivia Wilde for Janet Van Dyne, The Wasp, in AVENGERS 3!

  • Leah Duncan

    The problem isn't "terrible luck with the movies she's been chosen to be in." Olivia Wilde is NOT a moviestar. She is pretty. She is in gossip magazines. And yes- she is definitely a talented actress. I think most people like Olivia Wilde. But as the box office numbers show, people don't SHOW UP to a movie theater to see her. Sure- if you stick her in The Hunger Games people will go. But not for her.

  • apsutter

    Yup...she's just like every other bland actress who started on televison and thought she could be a movie star (a la-Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Katie Holmes)

  • Guest


  • Sara_Tonin00

    Aw, she puts the "bombshell" in "bomb."

    Wait, strike that, reverse it.

  • $65530708

    Pajiba is so fickle about their Olivias... I guess now that Munn is the flavor of the month Wilde is out. Bonus: Munn has no Box Office Record so she can't be labeled "Box Office Poison" yet.

    Hopefully Olivia Thirlby will be next as she is the most deserving of adoration.

  • pajiba

    You missed it. Thirlby was three years ago.

  • $65530708

    If Pajiba would give her half the misguided love it showers on Wilde and Munn she could easily "happen".

  • lowercase_ryan

    I saw the trailer for this in the theater last night and it was very, very impressive on the big screen.

    But the trailer for Ender? HO-LEE-SHITBALLS!

  • John W

    After the third movie I was praying, "Don't be about Olivia, don't be about Olivia..."


  • wsapnin

    We have tix to a preview tonight. But can't decide if we want to go or not. This may have solidified the decision.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I would have thought Ron Howard's participation was condemnation enough.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I know Nascar is like the most profitable "sport" there is, but who really wants to see a movie about cars driving around in a circle... well... oval... whatever... I don't think that if this fails Olivia will be to blame... more likely it will be that the target audience are sitting around some trailer park somewhere with several empty beer cans, with their own car up on blocks.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    There's really not a big enough chasm to describe the difference between NASCAR and F-1. They both involve cars, but F-1's entire image is centered on riiiiiiiiiiich people. It's all about Monaco and bling.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I am clearly an idiot when it comes to race car thingies... and confused by how any of them could be entertaining. I will goggle stuff next time.

  • emilya

    I think you potentially don't know what formula one racing is

  • Martin Holterman

    Nascar??? What does that have to do with anything?

  • rio

    I'm not saying this movie will do well, but it's clearly designed for the international market, they dont give a shit about the domestic market in this case.

  • Yocean

    She once came to the karaoke place I part time at. She was so nice and truly cool. I mean , I probably was bubbling something incoherently and she was all smile and civility. Love that lady.

  • Gabs

    I thought the surest sign was his lack of facial hair... completely diminishes his hotness factor.

  • Artemis

    I don't understand why this movie is expected to do well. The trailer (which appears to go through literally the entire plot) makes it look incredibly hokey, none of the actors in it are consistent box office draws, and I can't imagine there's a lot of pent-up demand for a movie about car racing. I know Ron Howard is super psyched about it, but I think he's the only one.

  • Uncle Mikey

    It's a great story, and Hunt was interesting. He sold his wife to Richard Burton, punched a track marshall and generally partied like a rock star, observed doing blow and local ladies immediately before races by reliable witnesses. The end of the deadliest era in F1 history. Should be a lot of fun.

  • Martin Holterman

    Go see last year's Senna documentary, and then come back and tell me Formula 1 is not a good topic for a movie.

  • Artemis

    I'm not even saying that car racing won't make a good topic for a movie (though seriously, I could not care less about it), but I really doubt it's the kind of thing that's a box office draw. There's also a huge difference between a documentary and a big-budget movie--the former can survive on a niche market, the latter can't.

  • Sean

    I have made non-auto racing people watch that movie. They all loved the movie. Nascar still sucks however.

  • Martin Holterman

    O, no question.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Well, it's a bit less boring than NASCAR, but that doesn't make it interesting.

  • gnibs


  • Parsnip

    ...and at a time when Formula 1 was really about the driver and the car.

  • Bepo

    Even though, as a Formula 1 fan, I really want to see this film, I think I'll just wait for it to come out on DVD or something. It could be awesome and everything... but I just don't want to pay for a ticket to see it. With the current prices, I expect aliens, superheroes and crazy explosions flying at me and making my ears bleed; anything else is just not worth seeing at the theatre. :/

  • LexieW

    And that's why 90% of what we have in the theater these days is aliens, superheroes and crazy explosions.

    I feel you, though.

  • koko temur

    My main take from this is "jebus, Olivia Wilde sure does lots of movies". Maybe if she had some sort of selection process? Did some theater and premium cable in between? You dont have to say yes to everything.

  • She should say yes to me.

  • Sean

    She probably does have to say yes to them. Those low budget movies pay almost nothing. Tron was surely her biggest payday, and I bet that didn't pay that much.
    I recently met, and spent some time with an actress in that 25-35 list for a work thing. I can't say who, as that was part of the contract. But we talked about money, and how little of it most actors make. That unless you get a regular TV gig, or some big franchise movies, you make little money. That you basically can't turn down a job. Ever.

  • koko temur

    But thats exactly what am i saying - she is in this place where she is recognizable enough to get a tv show. especially on cable, they love a good movie name for new shows. It will get her some economical stability and an option to choose her scripts better.

  • PantsAttack

    OR it could be because it looks like Talledega Nights, except not funny. And who wants to see that?

  • DarthCorleone

    Godspeed, Olivia Wilde!

    The good news is that - per the advertising - critics are saying that RUSH is not just "one of the best movies of this year." It's "one of the best movies of ANY year."

    2007? Pshaw. The blood is yours, Daniel Plainview. 1999? Horsefeathers. Who wants to be John Malkovich? 1994? Guess again, Herbert Stempel and Charles Van Doren. 1982? What a genre joke. Maybe if E.T. had actually been The Thing. 1939? See if you can get Rhett back by following Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road, Scarlett.

    That's right: the power of 2013 thanks to the mastery of Ron Howard and RUSH is upon us!

  • AngelenoEwok

    Comments like this make me want to marry you all over again.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Get in line.

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