News + Notes

Is Vin Worth It?

Vin Diesel may pack a punch, but does he carry his weight at the box office? Last summer, three months before the highly hyped XXX hit theaters, Revolution reportedly signed the star to a $20 million deal to reprise his role in a sequel. XXX opened at $44.5 million, dropped 50 percent in its second week, and worked its way to a domestic total of $141.2 million -- strong, but below some industry analysts' predictions.

Then, last fall, Knockaround Guys (long delayed by New Line) earned just $11.7 million and less than $2 million overseas, where Diesel has a mixed record: XXX scored about $140 million abroad, but 2000's Pitch Black and 2001's Fast and the Furious didn't score.

Last week's A Man Apart -- also delayed by New Line -- opened at $11 million, below Colin Farrell's Phone Booth and Amanda Bynes' What a Girl Wants.

Diesel fans do buy DVDs: Furious had disc sales of $132 million. But Universal, which is reportedly paying Diesel $12.5 million for The Chronicles of Riddick, the Pitch Black sequel, and Columbia, which cast him to lead Hannibal for a reported $11 million, are banking on Diesel's return to box office glory. The star may be one step ahead of naysayers: He's attached to Revolution's romantic comedy NY Giant, and is talking about playing Sky Masterson in an adaptation of Guys and Dolls. Clearly, he's willing to sing for his supper.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2003 Published in issue #705 Apr 18, 2003 Order article reprints
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