Nicolas Cage, the 48-year-old actor known for his over-the-top action roles, hasn't been so fortunate when it comes to the box office recently. His latest film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was expected to dominate ticket sales on its opening weekend, but theater goers opted for other choices instead.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Denzel Washington's Safe House took the number one spot, and romantic drama The Vow, were top box office contenders for the weekend. Cage's sequel to the 2007 film was expected to rake in at least $30 million with its debut, but only boasted a $25.7 million premiere. This is close to half of what the original film earned, which was a whopping $52 million on President's Day weekend five years ago.
This isn't the first time in recent years that the action actor's films have flopped financially. Over the span of Cage's 30 years in the Hollywood scene, his career has seen both ups and downs.
The 2011 action car-themed thriller Drive Angry has been described as a very entertaining B or C movie by the Orlando Sentinel's Roger Moore, and its box office results reflect just that. According Minyanville.com's box office analyst Bill Bonfanti, the second wide-release weekend for the film only raked in $5.1 million, and was one of the worst openings of Cage's career.
Season of the Witch, also released in 2011, reached a little over $10 million in its opening weekend, with an estimated budget of $40 million according to IMDB. The 2010 Disney film, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, didn't do too much better in terms of sales, earning about $17 million opening weekend with a budget of around $150,000.
The remake of horror/thriller The Wicker Man may have been intended to captivate audiences with its grotesque treatment of Cage's character and haunting cult-esque townsfolk. But many audiences may find the actor's plea Not the bees! much more recognizable as a result of a YouTube compilation titled Best Scenes from 'The Wicker Man,' boasting over 3 million views. The video combines various scenes from the film, honing in on Cage's one-liners and matching them up out of context.
Although the rumored vampire has staked a reputation for cheesy action roles and high-intensity car chases with little value, the California native has seen some noteworthy performances in his earlier years.
In 1997 Cage's performance with John Travolta in the FBI-crime thriller Face/Off gained him recognition in the film world, after already making a name for himself in movies such as Con Air and Leaving Las Vegas, which earned him the Oscar for Best Actor in 1996. Although the flick fosters all the embodiments of corny action pictures, Face/Off delivered what mega-movies promise according to The New York Times.
Cage also starred in the 2002 Spike Jonze film Adaptation, which has since garnered a cult following among film junkies. The 2010 comedy-action flick Kick Ass, which chronicles the adventures of a high-school student super-hero wannabe, was also widely received by audiences. It's a shrewd mixture of slickly made comic book violence, unmistakable sweetness and ear-splitting profanity that is poised to be a popular culture phenomenon, wrote The Los Angeles Times when the film was released.
Although Cage's career has seen some shortcomings as of late, some fans may always remember him as Adaptation's Charlie Kaufman or his National Treasure character Benjamin Franklin Gates.