Formula 51

Release Date: October 18, 2002
Moved up from October 25, 2002

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Formula 51 represents a teaming of international cinematic talent that would only be possible in these times. The movie takes a known Hong Kong action director (Ronny Yu) and then takes two of the baddest actors from their respective sides of the Atlantic in Samuel L Jackson and Robert Carlyle. Not to mention that this film was a British production that has now secured a US distribution deal via Sony's Screen Gems. The title, Formula 51, has been adopted for the US release in order to avoid confusion about exactly what was meant by the 51st State of the original title.

The plot involves Jackson trying to work out a large drug deal in England while avoiding being killed by men sent by his former boss. Carlyle plays an American-hating crook who teams up with Jackson. If this film follows the pace of Ronny Yu's previous action films or even that of Bride of Chucky, the audience should be in for a non-stop ride.

The many release date changes and the use of Screen Gems would seem to indicate that Sony only has moderate hopes for the success of the film when it finally does see US screens. (Calvin Trager/BOP)

July 3, 2002
According to the official Sony site, the movie has been pushed back to October. It's been shuffled many times, most recently from September 6th to August 30th prior to this newest move. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

July 26, 2002
Sony continues to try to find a release date home for Formula 51. It's now set to open on October 18th. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

October 18, 2002
After a number of release date changes, Screen Gems is finally set to open Formula 51 in approximately 1,500 locations. Reports from overseas, where the film has already seen release, indicate it's heavy on the violence and testosterone, with Samuel L. Jackson as the centerpiece; moreover, the reviews are universally bad. Even if the film does bomb here, it's still a factor in global receipts so with a $28 million budget, it's a no harm, no foul situation. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Formula 51
Main Cast Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Meat Loaf Aday
Supporting Cast Jake Abraham, Mac McDonald, Aaron Swartz, David Webber, Junix Nocian, Paul Barber
Director Ronny Yu
Screenwriter Stel Pavlou
Distributor Screen Gems
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Also see Stephanie Star Smith reviews the trailer
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Formula 51
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
xXx 8/9/0244.51 46.27 3374 13191.00 13191.0 141.20 146.80 3.17
Unbreakable 11/22/0030.33 33.93 2708 11202.00 12054.1 94.92 106.18 3.13
Shaft 6/16/0021.71 24.28 2337 9290.00 9996.7 70.30 78.64 3.24
Deep Blue Sea 7/30/9919.11 22.77 2854 6696.00 7645.0 73.65 87.76 3.54
Changing Lanes 4/12/0217.13 17.81 2613 6716.00 6716.0 66.79 69.44 3.90
Rules of Engagement 4/7/0015.01 16.79 3155 4758.00 5119.9 61.32 68.59 4.09
Sphere 2/13/9814.45 18.57 2814 5135.00 6350.3 37.30 47.95 2.01
Jackie Brown 12/26/979.01 11.83 1370 6577.00 8310.8 39.67 52.11 3.08



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