The Michael Jackson documentary This Is It became the first box-office hit in recent memory for Denver gazillionaire Phil Anschutz, racking up over $72 million domestically and $252 million worldwide to date. But one of his misses is getting attention, too.
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Movieline.com's countdown of the worst Hollywood remakes of the decade gives its grand prize to the Madonna-Guy Ritchie catastrophe Swept Away. But the list recognizes 2004's Around the World in 80 Days in the number nine slot, giving Anschutz a nod (or a slap) in the process. The item reads:
9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004) Remake of Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
Bankrolled by Philip Anschutz, the Denver-based billionaire founder of Qwest, this Jackie Chan version departed completely from the Jules Verne source material to instead provide him with a high-altitude platform for his trademark pratfalls and increasingly childish persona. No one was charmed: It grossed a total of $24 million, making the $110 million movie one of the biggest flops of the decade.
Of course, This Is It has more than made up for the shortfall -- not that Anschutz was hurting for dough before then. And that makes jibes like this one a lot easier to take.