The Ladykillers

Release Date: March 26, 2004

Is that building stalking him?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
39/55 Reagen Sulewski Coen Brothers, I'm begging you, start writing your own scripts again.
42/48 Les Winan Not funny. Not interesting. Not quirky. Though it did give about a day's enjoyment out of the phrase "hippity hop".
57/126 Kim Hollis Even the lesser Coen Brothers films are entertaining.

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In the past, the Coen brothers haven’t exactly been synonymous with big box office. While many of their films have either debuted to critical acclaim or eventually find cult followings, they generally are far too quirky for the average moviegoer, with ultra-dark humor and love-it-or-hate-it results. A simple look at their titles is proof of their independent nature, with Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and The Man Who Wasn’t There numbering among their titles. Up ‘til O Brother, there were no bona fide hits, with even that film winding up with a rather slight $45.5 million at the end of its theatrical run. Even the promising George Clooney/Catherine Zeta-Jones star vehicle Intolerable Cruelty only racked up about $35 million in total box office.

Having struck out (or at least hit foul) in their last attempt to court box office glory, the Coens are hoping for better results from their upcoming remake of the 1955 British Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers. That original film was set in London and starred two wonderful British icons in Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. For this update, written from scratch by the Coens despite previous attempts at drafts by other scripters, the action will be moved to New Orleans and instilled Tom Hanks in the Guinness role.

The Ladykillers tells the story of an off-center professor who has turned criminal genius to commit an enormous heist of a New Orleans riverboat casino. He and his three accomplices are renting rooms from a sweet little old woman named Mrs. Munson and determine that they can pull off the robbery by digging a tunnel from the house to where the casino’s money is kept. Mrs. Munson determines that she’s going to stop them, so the cohorts in crime decide to eliminate her from the picture completely. Unfortunately for their plans, she’s not nearly so easy to murder as they might hope.

In lesser hands, such a concept would probably be too dark for mainstream audiences; however, in the deft hands of the Coens, the film promises to be a wicked little affair. With Box Office King Tom Hanks as the headlining performer, the movie originally looked to have a shot at being one of the biggest events of 2004. That being said, the trailer and the ads have been looking distinctly......indie and it's looking more likely that this will be another of the Coens medium grossing films. (Kim Hollis and Jennifer Turnock/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Ladykillers
Main Cast Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans
Supporting Cast Ryan Hurst, George Wallace, Irma P. Hall, Tzi Ma, J.K. Simmons
Director Joel Coen
Screenwriter Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Distributor Touchstone
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 104 minutes
Screen Count 1,583
Awards Awards page for The Ladykillers
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Ladykillers
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Ocean's 11 12/7/0138.11 40.67 3075 12393.00 12722.0 183.41 195.75 4.76
Catch Me If You Can 12/27/0230.08 31.27 3156 9532.00 9532.0 164.61 171.14 4.85
Cast Away 12/22/0028.88 32.30 2774 10411.00 11202.9 233.63 261.36 5.86
Forrest Gump 7/8/9424.45 36.13 1595 15329.00 21791.2 329.65 487.18 13.15
Road to Perdition 7/12/0222.08 22.95 1797 12267.00 12267.0 104.05 108.18 4.71
You've Got Mail 12/18/9818.43 23.69 2691 6849.00 8470.0 115.73 148.79 6.28
Green Mile, The 12/10/9918.02 21.47 2875 6268.00 7156.4 136.80 163.02 7.59
Big Lebowski, The 3/6/985.53 7.10 1207 4582.00 5666.4 17.45 22.43 3.16
O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2/2/013.65 3.89 809 4512.00 4631.8 45.51 48.57 8.80
Fargo 4/5/962.54 3.46 716 3547.00 4654.4 24.57 33.52 5.89
Man Who Wasn't There, The 11/9/011.02 1.08 169 6011.00 6170.6 7.49 7.99 6.44



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