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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 |

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

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


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.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.