Cradle 2 the Grave

Release Date: February 28, 2003

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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.

(John Hamann/BOP)

Vital statistics for Cradle 2 the Grave
Main Cast Jet Li, DMX
Supporting Cast Anthony Anderson, Kelly Hu, Tom Arnold, Mark Dacascos, Gabrielle Union
Director Adrzej Bartkowiak
Screenwriter John O'Brien, Channing Gibson
Distributor Warner Bros
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 101 minutes
Screen Count 2,625
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Cradle 2 the Grave
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Scorpion King, The 4/19/0236.08 37.51 3444 10475.00 10475.0 90.34 93.92 2.50
Lethal Weapon 4 7/10/9834.05 43.77 3117 10924.00 13509.4 130.44 167.70 3.83
One, The 11/2/0119.11 20.39 2894 6604.00 6779.3 43.91 46.86 2.30
Exit Wounds 3/16/0118.49 19.73 2830 6532.00 6705.4 51.76 55.24 2.80
Romeo Must Die 3/24/0018.01 20.14 2641 6819.00 7337.7 55.97 62.61 2.74
Bring it On 8/25/0017.36 19.42 2380 7294.00 7848.8 68.25 76.35 3.93
Kiss of the Dragon 7/6/0113.30 14.19 2025 6570.00 6744.4 36.83 39.30 2.77
Two Can Play That Game 9/7/017.72 8.23 1297 5953.00 6111.0 22.24 23.73 2.87
Brotherhood of the Wolf 2/1/021.90 1.97 393 4845.00 4845.0 10.93 11.36 3.18



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