After a slow theatrical unveiling, Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino has become a massive box office hit.
Now in its 7th week of release, Torino has grossed $97.8 million. Thanks to extremely positive word of mouth, the Warner Bros. release has held its audience very well. During its first weekend of wide release Torino grossed a staggering $39 million, then it dropped only 23% the following weekend and 47% this past weekend. All of that without garnering even a single Oscar nomination. Considering that mainstream audiences are checking off Oscar nominees from their must-see lists, the lack of support should have hurt Torino. It hasn't.
As a result, Torino is easily on pace to become one of Eastwood's most successful films of all time. So much for a swan song. Still, its worth noting that Eastwood has found a higher level of box office success before, even if the numbers don't immediately jump out as being more impressive.
At first glance, it looks as though Torino will top the $101 million gross of Unforgiven this week. Yet when you adjust for inflation, Unforgiven 's gross jumps to $175 million. It's hard to imagine that Torino will be able to tack on another $70 million to its already very impressive haul.
The same can be said for In The Line of Fire. The film was released in 1993, one year after Unforgiven went on to boost Eastwood's career in a big way. When adjusted for inflation, Fire 's $102 million haul translates to around $177 million.
Adjusting for inflation even makes 2004's Million Dollar Baby look more impressive. The Academy Award-winning film's gross jumps from $101 million to $134 million.
Eastwood is showing no signs of stopping, even if Torino may be the last time he appears in front of camera. As a director, Eastwood has set up The Human Factor, which stars Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, for 2009. Plus, the 78-year-old living legend will tackle Hereafter from screenwriter Peter Morgan ( Frost/Nixon, The Queen ) in 2010.