Release Date: June 14, 2002
November 9, 2001

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John Woo and Nicolas Cage didn't get enough quality time during Face/Off so they have re-teamed on this World War II-based project. As many of you know, the one unbreakable code the Allies had was based on the Navajo language. This movie tells the story of a Navajo Marine and the soldier assigned to be his bodyguard. The catch is that if the Navajo is in danger of capture, the other soldier was trained to kill him. That scenario is complicated by the fact that the two gentlemen become friends, so one doesn't want to have to kill the other, even if it is in order to protect the security of their country. Christian Slater will play the part of the bodyguard.

The film was originally scheduled for a late-summer release, but with Captain Corelli's Mandolin pushed back to August, MGM decided to bump this release back to November, where openings are historically bigger anyway. There was a bit of indecision on the date, as the first week sees the release of Monsters, Inc. and The One and the third week sees the release of Harry Potter, so the studio decided to take the slot between the two and take its chances. Unfortunately, Fox did the opposite and pushed Shallow Hal up from summer 2002, so Windtalkers is no longer alone on the weekend.

The presence of Woo and a proven box-office draw in Cage will go a long way in making this a better-than-average opening for a war epic. As with any film of this genre, though, the key will be quality, as opening weekends are usually not blockbusters; legs will determine overall success or failure. (David Mumpower/BOP)

September 29, 2001
Due to the uncertain atmosphere currently besetting the movie industry, MGM has decided to push Windtalkers back to Summer 2002. This is the second push the film has received, as it was originally scheduled for Summer 2001 and was moved from that release date because it ran late. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

June 14, 2002
There is just no good news about the film at this moment. Windtalkers crawls into theaters today tracking as a distant third among the openers (behind Scooby-Doo and The Bourne Identity . MGM is so nervous about the film's box office appeal that they auctioned off foreign tickets sales for several important box office markets prior to today's release. They seem to have little confidence in the product and are facing a massive $120 million negative cost after marketing and interest accrued from missing their original date of release by a year. Even after selling the rights, they need to make almost $100 million domestic to break even and tracking indicates they're not even close. This is poised to be the first North American box office failure for John Woo, whose previous efforts (Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off, Hard Target and Broken Arrow) were all very solid performers. Rub some dirt on it and get back in there, Mr. Woo. Legends are entitled to a slip-up here and there. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Windtalkers
Main Cast Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare, Christian Slater, Mark Ruffalo, Noah Emmerich
Supporting Cast Brian Van Holt, Martin Henderson, Roger Willie, Frances O’Connor, Jason Isaacs, Billy Morts, Cameron Thor, Kevin Cooney, Holmes Osborne
Director John Woo
Screenwriter John Rice, Joe Batteer
Distributor MGM
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 134 minutes
Screen Count 2,898
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Windtalkers
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Saving Private Ryan 7/24/9830.58 39.31 2463 12416.00 15354.5 216.12 277.86 7.07
Gone in 60 Seconds 6/9/0025.34 28.34 3006 8430.00 9071.2 101.61 113.67 4.01
Con Air 6/6/9724.13 31.69 2824 8545.00 10797.6 101.12 132.84 4.19
Face/Off 6/27/9723.39 30.72 2621 8924.00 11276.5 112.28 147.50 4.80
Snake Eyes 8/7/9816.31 20.96 2713 6012.00 7434.9 55.59 71.47 3.41
City of Angels 4/10/9815.37 19.76 2212 6948.00 8592.4 78.75 101.24 5.12
8MM 2/26/9914.25 16.98 2370 6013.00 6865.2 36.28 43.23 2.55
Family Man 12/22/0010.56 11.81 2388 4422.00 4758.4 75.76 84.75 5.02



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