Cradle 2 the Grave
February 28, 2003
If you love hot action scenes, Cradle 2 the Grave is a film you need to put on your radar right now. There are less than five movies on the release schedule at this moment which offer the type of potent fight sequences made possible due to the spectacular casting in this film.
It stars Jet Li so I could stop right there and you'd already blindly accept the fact that it is going to be great. Cradle 2 the Grave reteams Li with DMX, his co-star in the suprise smash Romeo Must Die. This outing will see DMX in the role of a suspected diamond thief and gang leader whose daughter is kidnapped by a vicious felon who wants the booty DMX's character possesses. Li is cast as a federal agent who is forced to align with DMX despite their dramatic personality differences in order to stop the kidnapper from getting the diamonds and using them to finance a much more dangerous criminal operation.
The key to this is the casting of the main heel in the movie. If you have seen Brotherhood of the Wolf, I've got one word for you. Mani. Mark Dacascos wowed audiences in Europe and North America as the Native American warrior with indestructible spirit and dazzling moves to match. The mere thought of Dacascos facing off against Jet Li in combat ought to be reason enough to make a lot of people reading this immediately want to buy tickets. Since Li will also be participating in a re-match with the Iron Monkey himself, Donnie Yen, in Hero, the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003 will bring two of the most anticipated action hero matchups in recent memory.
We could stop right there and Cradle 2 the Grave would be a can't miss action film but the cast has several other standout performers in it. Gabrielle Union, who has been fabulous in diverse roles such as Two Can Play That Game and Bring It On, joins with the indescribably stunning Kelly Hu of The Scorpion King for a dynamic duo of rising starlets. Anthony Anderson, easily the funniest person in the afore-mentioned Two Can Play That Game, is cast here as one of DMX's character's associates. And Tom Arnold is in it. Every rose has its thorn.
As was the case with Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave appeals to a wide range of demographics and looks to have a much better cast as well as an even better idea for a storyline. Can't wait. Can't wait. Can't wait. (David Mumpower/BOP)
Box Office Autopsy
Cradle 2 The Grave did something urban films usually don't. The film went for a wide (2500+ plus venues) release. Usually urbans only play urban centres, and get 1500-2000 venues; Cradle opened at 2,625 sites and used the breadth of its release to its advantage. Cradle 2 The Grave found $16.5 million over its opening three days, netting a very positive venue average of $6,294.
Even though the size of release was uncommon for an urban film, the gross pattern was not. After the fantastic opening the film received, it tanked after its first three days. It's no wonder, the film's reviews were excrutiating. Of the 105 reviews posted at RottenTomatoes, only 27 were positive. This type of film is review proof opening weekend, but after that percentage drops tell the tale of word of mouth. The film dropped 60.4% in its second weekend, 54.5% in its third, and 65% in its fourth.
After such a big opening frame, the final result of $34.65 million was absolutely brutal. The opening weekend to total multiplier was only 2.1, which should hold up as one of the lowest of the year. The good news for distributor Warner Bros. was that the film cost only $25 million to make, so it would have found a nice profit for the studio after home video sales.
Comparison films for Cradle 2 the Grave
|Scorpion King, The
|Lethal Weapon 4
|Romeo Must Die
|Bring it On
|Kiss of the Dragon
|Two Can Play That Game
|Brotherhood of the Wolf