Marquee History

Week 44 - 2015

By Max Braden

November 2, 2015

We are *not* going to refuse an opportunity to feature Morris Day and the Time on our site.

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Welcome to Marquee History, the weekly column that takes you back to a time when you - or your parents - were younger. Prepare to become nostalgic (and shocked) at how much time has passed when you recall what was new in theaters 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years ago.

This week's highlights are the 15th anniversary of Charlie’s Angels and a couple of horror films for this Halloween weekend.

Here are the movies that premiered on theater marquees this week...

10 years ago - November 4, 2005

Chicken Little
Chicken Little was the first movie produced by Disney for 3D display (Pixar movies were distributed by Disney). Mark Dindal, who directed The Emperor’s New Groove, directed this movie about a chicken who discovers there are in fact pieces of the sky falling because they’ve been placed there by aliens. Zach Braff provides the main voice. He was in the midst of starring on the TV series Scrubs, and had released the fan favorite live action movie Garden State in 2004. Reviews of Chicken Little weren’t great, but audiences were still interested. Chicken Little took down Saw II for the #1 box office spot with $40 million at 3,654 sites. That made it the 11th best November opening to date. Chicken Little earned $135 million in the U.S. That fell short of the movie’s $150 million budget, but an additional $179 million in overseas sales helped tip the scales.

2004 and 2005 were the years when Jake Gyllenhaal really turned into a star. In 2004 he starred in the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow. In Jarhead he took on a true lead role as a Marine sniper during 1990’s Operation Desert Storm, based on the biographical account by Anthony Swofford. Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, and Chris Cooper co-star, with Sam Mendes directing. Reviews were good. Jarhead opened at #2 with $27 million at 2,411 sites. Jarhead went on to earn $62 million in the U.S. In the meantime Gyllenhaal co-starred in Brokeback Mountain. A sequel to Jarhead was released directly to video in 2014 with a different cast and characters, led by Cole Hauser.


15 years ago - November 3, 2000

Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels is the epitome of a big-budget, noisy, blockbuster treatment of a popular tv show, an approach that actually pays off in this case. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu star as the sexy-but-tough private investigators based on the the show in the late 1970s. This was the first movie for director McG who had been working with music videos. The movie’s tone includes more overt humor than the TV series plus bigger action with the help of wire-flying during kung fu scenes. Bill Murray appears as Bosley, and Sam Rockwell provides a fun, flamboyant style to the movie’s villain. Critics and audiences enjoyed the movie, leading to a $40 million opening at #1 at 3,037 sites, finally unseating Meet the Parents after four weeks at the top. This was the seventh highest opening of the year. Charlie’s Angels went on to earn $125 million in the US and even more overseas. Its success led to a sequel with the main cast in 2003.

The Legend of Bagger Vance
Robert Redford directs Matt Damon in this golf drama set in the 1930s based on the novel by Steven Pressfield. Though Will Smith was the bigger box office star, received top billing, and plays the character in the movie title, he plays a supporting role as the caddy to Damon’s troubled golfer, providing sage advice. Jack Lemmon provides a narrative voice-over in his last movie before his death in 2001. The movie style fits into other Redford works like A River Runs Through It and the Horse Whisperer, but Will Smith’s golf whisperer character was a bit much for critics. The movie’s $60 million budget was a bit much too, as The Legend of Bagger Vance opened at #3 with $11.5 million at 2,061 sites and only brought in $30.9 million in the US.

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