Apocalypto Tops Box Office, Gibson Not Done After All

The reports of the death of Mel Gibson’s career have been greatly exaggerated:

Mel Gibson’s bloody epic “Apocalypto” debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie, proving the filmmaker still can deliver a winner despite his drunken-driving arrest and anti-Semitic rant last summer.

Let me hereby predict that, Michael Richards’ tirade notwithstanding, “Seinfeld” DVDs will sell as well as they ever have and that the show will continue to thrive in syndication. On the other hand, Andy Dick’s career is toast.

Gone Hollywood

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Of course the simple minds in Hollywood may add 1 + 1 to get 3. Gibson makes offensive remarks. Gibson’s next film opens big at the box office. Conclusion: Making offensive remarks is good for business.

  2. Mark says:

    On the other hand, Andy Dick’s career is toast.

    What career? The only time I see him are at those Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, and I have to remind myself who exactly that is…

  3. I’m just shocked that he has had two successful. subtitle-only flicks in a row.

    It helps his cause that there wasn’t video of the event.

    And I read somewhere the Seinfeld DVD is selling quite well.

    Richard’s “career” however, is another story. I was unaware than he had one prior to the recent kerfuffle, so I have to wonder about its current state.

  4. James Joyner says:


    Indeed, my sense is that these tirades have little impact on their careers because 1) people can generally separate performance from real life and 2) neither of the latter two had active careers of note, anyway. “Seinfeld” and “News Radio,” though, are still as funny as they ever were.

    I would have though “Apocalypto” would have tanked mainly because the premise of the movie struck me as not interesting to a large audience. I did think, though, that there would be people who would shy away rather than risk get tarred with the questionable side of Gibson’s personality.

  5. Andy Dick has a career? Isn’t he that weird dude from NewsRadio that never did anything else?

  6. madmatt says:

    $14.5 million is not that much for a $100 million production opening during the holidays, let’s look after xmas!

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    IIRC Gibson needed to finance most of The Passion himself and, consequently, took in most of the net, too. To the tune of something like $500,000,000. Or, said another way, he should have to worry about his career?

  8. Wayne says:

    I believe that the film will do well but would have to agree that the opening weekend is not a great indicator. Initial sale of almost any controversial media event is generally good due to the die-hards supporters turning out but then quickly die down. We’ll have to wait an see.

  9. just me says:

    I think most consumers seperate the actions from the entertainer. There are several actors and actresses whose actions I don’t care for and whose politics I loath, but if they make a movie that interests me, then I am likely to see it.

    I confess here that I wasn’t interested in seeing The Passion (mostly because of the violence, and I don’t need to see the violence in pictures to grasp what The Passion of Christ was about) and I have no real interest in seeing this one, mostly because I have no desire to watch that violence either. The subtitles don’t bother me quite as much.