Friday, April 22, 2011
BOX OFFICE ATTRACTIONS: NEWMAN & REDFORD
This duo only made two films together but they both were box office blockbusters. Paul Newman was one of the biggest stars during the 60's. He was the top ranked star in 1969, the year he teamed with Robert Redford for the first time. Newman had been ranked as a top ten box office star six times during this decade. Redford was just getting started with such films like This Property Is Condemned (1966) with Natalie Wood and Barefoot in the Park (1967) with Jane Fonda. So when these two were brought together for the western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, after Steve McQueen turned down the role of Sundance over a matter of who would get top billing, the result was magnificent. The film earned a huge $102 million and was the top film of 1969, more than doubling the number two film of the year, The Love Bug. To put that in perspective, that amount earned in 1969 would equate to about $565 million at today's ticket prices. How many films have earned that in today's cinema? Only Titanic, The Dark Knight and Avatar have earned over $500 million domestically. It is true when they say more people went to the movies back then. So almost everyone went and saw Butch and Sundance at least once at the theater back then. Ticket prices were way cheaper then so ticket admissions were definitely higher then than they are now.
With that huge success, it was almost a given that Newman and Redford would be paired up again. And it was only four years later, when that moment came with The Sting. As big as Butch and Sundance was, The Sting dwarfed it easily. It earned $156 million in 1973 to land as the second biggest film of the year, trailing behind only the mega smash The Exorcist, which racked up $232 million. The Sting's adjusted gross today would be a cool $714 million. And it also won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture. So after two huge smashes for Newman and Redford, you would have thought more pairings would have been the order of the day. Sadly, no third film ever came for these two box office golden boys. Which is a shame. But they can say they are a perfect 2 for 2 in film history.
BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) $102 MILLION
THE STING (1973) $156 MILLION
BOX OFFICE STATS SUPPLIED BY BOX-OFFICE MOJO AND BY MY GOOD BUDDY TOM OVER AT MOTION PICTURE GEMS...http://motionpicturegems.blogspot.com/