Movies and TV
Butler Has Fallen - The Career of Gerard Butler

Matthew Parkinson | 10 Mar 2016 15:00
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The same year as 300, Butler starred in P.S. I Love You, shedding his newly established tough guy image in a romance that didn't do well critically (24%), but did make money - especially overseas ($103 million). He was, it would seem, now a draw at the box office. That success continued into 2008 with Nim's Island ($100 million) and RocknRolla (#1 at the UK Box Office, although its total international numbers are less thrilling). 2009 was more mixed, with successes in The Ugly Truth ($205 million) and Law Abiding Citizen ($127 million), but a disaster in Gamer ($40 million on a $50 million budget).

The recurring theme during this time, and one that would become apparent in the years to come, is that even while Butler's movies were making money, they were critical nightmares. People were still going to see these movies, but for the most part they weren't good. That sort of constant lack of quality makes it understandable why he currently acts more as box office poison than as a draw. But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

2010 only gave Butler one live-action role, which was in The Bounty Hunter, a film that still made money ($136 million), but was another critical failure (13%). It was here that Butler stopped getting big Hollywood roles, as it took him until 2013 to get another film with a budget over $30 million. Coriolanus is the one critical success of this period, but it failed to make anywhere close to its $7 million budget - although it was given a tiny release. Machine Gun Preacher cost $30 million and only made back $3.3 million - 85% of which was international. And Chasing Mavericks, which was given a wide release and a $20 million budget, failed to recoup even half of that. Playing for Keeps, a rom-com with 3% on Rotten Tomatoes, didn't make back its $35 million budget - even though Butler's previous romantic films had all done well.

2012 could have been Butler's last year in Hollywood.

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