Johnny English

Release Date: July 18, 2003

I make a joke here to help you forget how screwed you are.

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Based on a series of television commercials for a British credit card company, Johnny English is a film that Universal Pictures hopes will be the first of a franchise. Like Austin Powers, Johnny English is a spoof of spy movies, in the vein of James Bond. What makes this project unique is that two of the scripters on the project were actually the co-writers of recent Bond flicks The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day.

The happy news is that Rowan Atkinson plays the title character. Atkinson has quite a cult following thanks to his involvement in the terrific Black Adder television series on BBC, and he has even appeared in a Bond movie (Never Say Never Again). In recent years, he’s primarily known for smaller, goofy roles, such as his recent turn as a narcoleptic Italian in Rat Race.

Atkinson also starred in and wrote another BBC series known as Mr. Bean, which was eventually turned into a feature-length film known only as Bean. Though the movie grossed a slight $45 million in North America, it nonetheless managed a staggering $232 million worldwide. The sketch comedy of Mr. Bean was a tough transition for the big screen; it was much better suited to the shorter bursts of the television format.

Looking forward to Johnny English, we already know that audiences clamored for the escapades of a similar character in Austin Powers. Will Atkinson’s creation be viewed as a fresh take on a similar story, or will it be viewed simply as a cheap knock-off? With a budget of $45 million, it’s not a particularly cheap production, but the hope would be that the involvement of the Bond writers, along with a potentially terrific bad guy (John Malkovich), will combine for outstanding results. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Johnny English
Main Cast Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich
Supporting Cast Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, Tim Pigott-Smith
Director Peter Howitt
Screenwriter Neal Purvis, Robert Wade; rewrite by William Davies
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Running Time 88 minutes
Screen Count 2,236
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Johnny English
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Austin Powers in Goldmember 7/26/0273.07 75.97 3613 20224.00 20224.0 213.08 221.53 2.87
Austin Powers II:The Spy Who Shagged Me 6/11/9954.57 65.03 3312 16582.00 18932.2 205.40 244.77 3.69
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 8/9/0216.71 17.37 3307 5053.00 5053.0 85.63 89.02 4.63
I Spy 11/1/0212.75 13.25 3182 4008.00 4008.0 33.11 34.42 2.60
Bean 11/7/9712.73 16.72 1948 6535.00 8257.7 45.31 59.52 3.01
Rat Race 8/17/0111.66 12.44 2550 4573.00 4694.4 56.09 59.86 4.81
Spy Hard * 5/24/9610.45 14.25 2286 4571.00 5998.1 26.94 36.75 2.58
Austin Powers 5/2/979.55 12.54 2187 4367.00 5518.2 53.82 70.70 5.64



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