Film and TV

Phil Anschutz gets shout out... on worst Hollywood remakes of the decade list

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.

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.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts