Monday, May 08, 2006


You read that right, Rush Hour 3 is in development. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan buddy up again for the most surprising smash hit of 1998, making over 245 million dollars worldwide. This is a movie that cost 35 million dollars to make, and brought in more than 54 million dollars in rentals alone so far. Rush Hour 2 made even more money, 329 million worldwide (although it cost 90 million to make). So the sequel seems inevitable, and The Movie Blog has the details:

I didn't mind the first Rush Hour. I LOVED the second one and I was wanting to see a third one, until I started hearing about all of the ridiculous demands that B-grade actor Chris Tucker was making. I ranted about this about a year ago... but it's come up again, because the studio has just green lit the project and it goes into full production this summer.

This one will take place in France, but that's not the story here. With this film, Chris Tucker becomes one of the highest paid actors in history. He gets $20 million for the movie PLUS 20% of the box office gross. That means Rush Hour 3 has to make $24 million at the box office JUST TO COVER PAYING THAT HACK CHRIS TUCKER!!! Good grief!!!

Jackie Chan is taking home $15 million plus 15% plus he gets distributions right for the film in China and Hong Kong. Now the film has to make a minimum of $40 million JUST TO PAY 2 guys. Hundreds of people poor blood sweat and tears into making one of these puppies. This is total insanity. How many ways can you say "Financial irresponsibility"?

Remember, we're not talking about Pitt, or Clooney or Gibson or Foxx here. We're talking about Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. $40 million tied up in just these two guys... I'm getting dizzy.

I swear if I hear one more movie executive cry about losing money because of piracy, I'm going to walk over and smack him in the mouth.

Commenters were less dizzy:


you charge what the market will bear. what is the market? it's the price of a ticket x number of people that go see the movie + $$$ from dvd sales/rental -- in other words you and me and everybody else. blame the market

ps - i charge what the market will bear. why charge less? to look like you’re not worth it, or to let the competition make more than you?

pps - lou. that's the point. people, lots of them, go to see these pictures. studios pay what's needed to get the pic made, talent charge what they can get away with asking for. sorry, guys. you have to play by market rules

ppps - bottom line: blame society for its ills. we create our problems, then we gripe about our problems
-by Alan Green

The point is, you can't bitch about losses if you pay those kind of salaries. You look at the success of this one particular movie, but are not willing to see the moviemarket is in decline.
-by darko

I agree with John on this.

Chris Tucker isn't worth $20 million. It might be one thing if he lowered it to $15 to be on an even pay scale with Jackie Chan. But, NO he **needs** $20 million...for doing what, exactly? Another riff off Eddie Murphy in his younger days? More race jokes? I suppose someone out there likes him.

$20 million for this 'name' who has NEVER opened a movie on his own as *the main draw*. He is either a supporting player (Fifth Element, Friday) or he is in a buddy film (Rush Hour films). What other gilm, **besides the Rush Hour films**, has this guy been in within the last SEVEN years? Name one. Just one. I don't care what it is just spit it out. You can't do it; no one can. There isn't any except the Rush Hour films.

Jackie Brown was 1998. And--he had a small part in the film, not in it for more than ten minutes. 10 minutes!

I thought Tucker was great in 'Fifth Element'- he was a supporting character. I suppose if Sony made a sequel to 5th and centered it around Ruby, (Tucker's character) and Tucker asked...well, no, he's not worth $20 million. You pay Bruce Willis $20 million....

...or do you?

Some actors in recent days have come down on thier previous salaries

"Salaries paid to top movie stars are coming down, according to Entertainment Weekly magazine, which cites a number of prominent studio execs. Among those who now find it difficult getting producers to consider their $25-million asking price is Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy, the magazine reported. Those salaries can not be justified by the box-office performances of their recent films, the magazine observed. However, it noted, Tom Hanks (who stars in the upcoming The Da Vinci Code) remains "one of the most bankable brand names in the world."

-Studio news briefing WENN/IMDB. May 4,2006

Now, Eddie Murphy, aside from the Shrek films, I could understand. Jim Carrey would have done it since aside from screwball comedies, he likes indie films like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. But folks haven't really warmed up to him doing drama. But Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman are still pretty much I consider 'draws' (Bewitched aside).

If they can drop huge salaries, why can't Tucker, who unlike the celebs EW named, hasn't carried a film by himself on his own? There is but one answer.

Being a bad actor overall, get the money. Get the money now.
Get the money then get the hell out.
talentless sob
-by darren seely

it's unusual to actually find an objective debate online (i knew the internet was good for something).

there seem to be two sides here. 1) ct and/or jc are being paid too much considering neither is a big star, and, 2) the amount of money they are being paid is obscene

okay, don't analyze that too closely (i'm not sure if it's correct). but, i still don't get it no matter what your argument against the stars of 'rush hour' is. john's post has the subtitle 'this is insane'. i totally disagree - it's quite sane.

so is chris tucker a movie star? hell no. would he even argue that? how could he? is his perf in RH worth $$$$? yes, every penny. so, this brings me back to point #1. ct is being paid too much considering he is not a pitt or clooney. well, that's apples and oranges. ct is not a great actor, but he does not present himself as one - he puts his cards on the table and says 'i can put butts in seats if you give me rush hour'. that's 'rush hour' not 'syrianna' or 'se7en'. ct is not a movie star, but he is worth his salary (as long as you're talking about 'rush hour').

point #2. the amount of cashola is obscene. well, come on. it's a lot of money but how many people can carry a movie? i mean think about it. how many actors could take the lead in 'rush hour' and turn in $300 million in worldwide box office? (plus, say, 10 million units in dvd sales/rental). am i wrong or is the answer exactly two (jackie and chris).

but, here's the justice. let's say you're mr. big at a movie studio. you have a cop thriller gearing up for production. do you consider paying chris tucker 20 mil to do the pic? nope, next question. how about brad pitt? sure, can we get him? not much thought involved. the pitts, clooneys, and de niros are still who they are. they're great actors and, more importantly, great movie stars (there is a difference and one is not always the other). they can carry almost anything. so, if we extend the logic we can trade out de niro for tucker, right? of course not. and therein lies the rub. you may not like it, you may think tucker is not a great actor (or movie star), you may think he does not have a track record, but, alas, he was in the right place at the right time and now he's worth huge coin to do the 'rush hour' franchise.

you know what i think is obscene -- the price of a movie ticket. that's why i don't go anymore. i just buy the dvd. the logic is pretty good -- why spend $20 on a ticket and the popcorn etc. (and go at the time of day the movie is set to start, find parking, etc) when i can just take a pass today, wait a couple months, buy the movie on dvd, own it forever, watch the extras, enjoy it at my leisure anytime i want, as many times as i care to.

so...i have a choice in how i spend my money. movie studios do not. they must go with what will provide a return on their investment. that's why they never called me with an offer of huge $$ to anchor 'rush hour'. however, when they call me to do a screenplay rewrite i will take the offer. 'it's not fair' (somebody will say) 'he's getting all that money to do a stupid rewrite of a stupid script'. well, sorry -- how many people can write? how many people know genre, dialogue, and plot? not many. (no, they're not offering, but i'm working on it).

i still work 9-5, but i'm working on getting a hollywood gig. right now i work in this office - we make pretty good money - better than average. our job is to read and interpret written material then write a summary based on that material. the summary is then sent to some very important people (believe me, they are). there is one person in the office that can barely read or write. she is functionally illiterate - i'd say she can function on a sixth grade level. however, she cannot be fired for at least one year because of human resource policies. she cannot carry a workload and we have to cover for her. she constantly wants time off and is as sharp as melted butter. and, she makes the same money i do. now, that's obscene.

like it or not, some people work hard, take the chances, risk everything, and score big in hollywood. they deserve to get paid. the studio that is paying chris tucker and jackie chan to carry 'rush hour 3' is not giving their money away. they are paying for a return. that return is practically guaranteed. everybody involved simply made a deal in which they come out ahead. the money involved is obscene, but the logic is rock solid.
-by Alan Green

I think Johns' point is that Chris Tucker is NOT a draw, which he isnt. Every movie he's been in outside of Rush Hour, has had significant other stars, and If you consider that Jackie Chan is making less money in this deal than Tucker, this is really really sad.

Chris Tucker can do ONE fast, in a girlie voice, and be annoying. This is why, In Jackie Brown, when Samuel Jackson shot him dead, we all felt soooo good.

I do want to point out to you, though John, that Chan himself wasn't impressed with the first Rush Hour, because the budget was so small they couldnt do what he said he wanted to do with it. The second one, He was on record as saying he enjoyed working on, so maybe the fact that this one has such an "inflated" budget is a good thing?

then again...when all the budget is going to ONE token black guy (which is all tucker really is...) what does that SAY about the budget?
-by Mogulus

Rush Hour movies make money, and Chris Tucker certainly is one of the reasons, in some odd way - although someone more genuinely talented and funny would play better in the US - but John's final point about profits and complaints about piracy do have some validity. If they wouldn't pay Jennifer Aniston or Will Farrel so much money perhaps they would make a bit more.

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