Forbes (US), Jun 19, 2019
A Year Of Resurgence: Keanu Reeves' Immortal Reign At The Box Office
by Travis Bean
Since 1987, Keanu Reeves has graced our movie screens. From his bit parts in the '80s to his breakout roles in the '90s, from to his genre-jumping in the 2000s to his current John Wick resurgence, Reeves has been an unstoppable, practically ageless force that has remained an undeniable component of the zeitgeist.
And let's not forget that Toy Story 4—a film expected to top $1 billion in worldwide earnings—hits theaters this weekend, and will likely become Reeves' 15th film to earn at least $100 million.
You can point to many moments throughout Reeves' box office history as highlights, but given the fact that two of his four highest grossing movies are set to release in 2019—his 32nd year of acting—it would seem as though Reeves' reign at the box office is virtually immortal. Over the course of his career, Reeves' movies have accrued $4.49 billion in ticket sales.
So let's celebrate his historic reign by looking back over Reeves' career to see which movies top his list.
The Early Years
After several bit parts in movies during the '80s, Reeves got his first prominent role in a big movie with Dangerous Liaisons, which saw a $34.7 million run at the box office. That success carried with him into the film where he became a household name: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. That movie amassed $40.5 million back in 1989.
Before he left the '80s, Reeves also starred in Steve Martin's Parenthood, which was a gigantic hit—$10.5 million on opening weekend and $100 million in total domestic gross.
That movie would remain Reeves' biggest hit until 1994 when Reeves starred in Speed with Sandra Bullock. That film accrued $14.5 million on opening weekend and went on to make $121.2 million over its domestic run. A huge hit overseas, that movie also added $229.2 million from foreign markets, making Reeves a worldwide movie star. In total, the film grossed $350.4 million.
Before The Matrix in 1999—when his box office numbers would reach record levels—Reeves starred in a number of other career-defining roles that dominated the box office as well. Most notably are Point Break, A Walk in the Clouds and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Point Break, A Walk in the Clouds
Point Break,an action film starring Patrick Swayze, opened to a $8.5 million weekend and went on to amass $43.2 million domestically. Worldwide, it pulled in $83.5 million.
A Walk in the Clouds, a quieter romance that doesn't get much love these days, actually outdid Point Break domestically, pulling in $9.5 million on opening weekend and $50 million in lifetime gross.
Finally, Reeves' third-biggest hit of the '90s was Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, which made $30.5 million on opening weekend. The film would go on to make $82.5 million over its domestic run $215.9 million globally. The Matrix Pinnacle
Needless to say, The Matrix was a worldwide smash that catapulted Reeves' box office earnings to new levels.
When the first film of the Matrix trilogy debuted in 1999, it opened with a relatively modest $27.8 million weekend. But as the film gained fans and praise from critics, things really took off. The movie went on to accrue $171.5 million over its domestic run (which adjusts to $304.1 million with inflation) and $463.5 million globally—easily Reeves' biggest movie to date at the time.
The original film was then outdone four years later by its sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, which remains to this day Reeves' top grossing film. On opening weekend, Reloaded made $91.8 million in the States ($137.1 million with inflation) and $123.4 million worldwide. By the end of its run, the sequel had accrued $281.6 million domestically ($420.7 million after inflation) and $742.1 million worldwide.
Then came the much-aligned third film of the franchise, The Matrix Revolutions. Thanks both its and Reloaded's poor reception, the movie only amassed $48.5 million on opening weekend. It would go on to make $139.3 million domestically and $427.3 globally—the worst of the three Matrix movies.
The Continued Dominance
Since the Matrix trilogy, Reeves' versatility as an actor has shown through various genres he's been a part of—from adult comedies to sci-fi remakes to low-fantasy romance to grisly action. In particular, five movies from those genres stand out.
First was Nancy Meyers' Something's Gotta Give, starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. In 2003, that movie pulled in $16.1 million on opening weekend, and would go on to accrue $124.7 million domestically and $266.7 million worldwide.
The next film saw the re-pairing of Reeves and Bullock. The Lake House opened to a $13.6 million weekend back in 2006. The movie went on to make $52.3 million at the U.S. box office and $114.8 million at the global one.
Then came his second-biggest non-Matrix hit of the 2000s, Constantine, which faired reasonably well at the domestic box office, and extremely well overseas. On opening weekend it made $41.8 million globally, and went on to make $76 million domestically and $230.9 million worldwide.
Next up was one of Reeves' most successful films: The Day the Earth Stood Still. A big hit overseas, this remake of a classic sci-fi movie pulled in $67.1 million globally on opening weekend. It went on to make $79.4 million domestically and $233.1 million worldwide.
Finally, we have the three John Wick films, which together have amassed over $500 million over the past five years. Of those three movies, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum did the best, pulling in $93.3 million in its global opening weekend—Reeves' second-best domestic opening weekend ever. So far, it's accrued $149.7 million domestically and $276.5 million worldwide.
Now that we have the full scope of Reeves' career, let's see how his box office rankings shape up. First we'll look at the grand rankings, then the rankings when we adjust for ticket price inflation.
First we'll start with his 15 top performing films:
1.The Matrix Reloaded
1.The Matrix Reloaded($742.1 million) 2.The Matrix ($463.5 million) 3.The Matrix Revolutions ($427.3 million) 4.Speed ($350.4 million) 5.John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum ($276.5 million) 6.Something's Gotta Give ($266.7 million) 7.The Day the Earth Stood Still ($233.1 million) 8.Constantine ($230.9 million) 9.Bram Stoker's Dracula ($215.9 million) 10.John Wick: Chapter Two ($171.5 million) 11.The Devil's Advocate ($152.9 million) 12.47 Ronin ($151.8 million) 13.Parenthood ($126.3 million) 14.The Lake House ($114.8 million) 15.John Wick ($88.8 million)
Now let's look at Reeves' domestic rankings when we adjust for ticket price inflation: 1.The Matrix Reloaded ($420.7 million) 2.The Matrix ($304.1 million) 3.Speed ($261.4 million) 4.Parenthood ($226.4 million) 5.The Matrix Revolutions ($208.1 million) 6.Something's Gotta Give ($182.8 million) 7.Bram Stoker's Dracula ($179.1 million) 8.John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum ($149.7 million) 9.The Devil's Advocate ($119.6 million) 10.Constantine ($106.8 million) 11.A Walk in the Clouds ($103.6 million) 12.The Day the Earth Stood Still ($98.5 million) 13.John Wick: Chapter Two ($93.8 million) 14.Point Break ($92.5 million) 15.Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ($91.9 million)
It is very likely Toy Story 4 will come to top both of those lists. This may very well be the best year of Keanu Reeves' career. https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbean/2019/06/19/a-year-of-resurgence-keanu-reeves-immortal-reign-at-the-box-office/#a9c06681cf56
John Wick 3
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