Millennium at 30: 10 movies that made independent action strong

The action sees protagonists old and new, shootings, punches, explosions, Gerard Butler saving the president of the United States: if it says Millennium on the box, it is usually easy to imagine what is happening inside. To celebrate 30 years of success in business, the company has selected from its library 10 films that best represent its rise to, including multiple franchises and a decidedly ungung ho high-profile moment.

16 blocks (2006)

The first film to bear the Millennium name. Avi Lerner’s Nu Image has been producing films since 1992, but this spirited crime thriller – starring Bruce Willis as a drunk and exhausted NYPD detective – was the first release from its subsidiary Millennium Films. It was also the last film by legendary Hollywood director Richard Donner.

Rambo (2008)

John Rambo is back! Two decades after his last release (and with the rights finally acquired by Millennium via Miramax), Stallone has donned the famous bandana again and the franchise – now one of Millennium’s “most successful”, according to CEO Jeffrey Greenstein – is reborn. Rambo: Last blood will follow in 2019.

The film that has amassed some of the biggest muscles in cinema (Sly! Statham! Li! Lundgren!) And launched one of the most successful franchises of all time (the fourth will be released next year). “It was a nice surprise,” says Greenstein. “And now it’s a nearly three-quarter billion dollar franchise.” And who can forget the moment in Cannes in 2014 to celebrate the third film in which tanks rolled off the Croisette?

The mechanic (2011)

Fresh off The Expendables, Jason Statham is back under the Millennium banner, this time as a hitman in Simon West’s action thriller alongside Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland, and in another franchise. After grossing over $ 75 million, the sequel Mechanic: Resurrection was released in 2016. “We hope to do more with the franchise,” notes Greenstein.

Newspaper distributor (2012)

This unlikely action step with director Lee Daniels may not have been a box office hit, but it propelled Millennium into prestige drama territory, premiering at Cannes and earning Nicole Kidman Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations. “It was just something interesting and we’re really proud we did it,” says Greenstein.

the fall of the Gods (2013)

Millennium can take credit for resurrecting Gerard Butler’s action star status thanks to his role as Mike Bannon, gun bearer and savior of the President. the fall of the Gods it would make $ 170 million, spawning two blockbuster sequels with more to come. Greenstein observes, “We had done the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps with Gerry and we just said, man, 300 people loved you and they want to see you kick your ass again.” He did. And he continues to do so today.

home front (2013)

This stunning Statham film set amid a small-town Louisiana methamphetamine lab and motorcycle gangs – a “big action movie with some drama,” according to Greenstein – did decent business for Millennium upon release. But nearly 10 years later, Homefront has resurfaced spectacularly on Netflix, claiming the top spot in the film.

The assassin’s bodyguard (2017)

Two of the biggest names in the industry – Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson (as well as Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek) – teamed up on this smash hit action comedy, which amassed $ 176 million worldwide. . “When I first brought it, Avi (Lerner) told me I was crazy,” recalled Greenstein. “Sure, he now he says he always loved Hitman’s bodyguard.” The bodyguard of Hitman’s wife would follow, and a third party might simply see another family member thrown into chaos.

the outpost (2020)

Starring Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom and Caleb Landry-Jones, it was a new kind of offering from Millennium, a hard-fought war film set in Afghanistan and showing the real-life struggles of US Army veterans as they clash with the power of the Taliban. . “It was this incredibly heroic event where these guys just said we had to stick together and we wouldn’t give up,” says Greenstein.

To death (2021)

Megan Fox directed this chilling thriller, known for being one of the first films shot during the pandemic and a film that never seemed to be made when travel bans exploded around the world and countries began to close. But with perseverance, it happened. “We found a way to get started and we did it safely, with no COVID cases,” says Greenstein. Millennium is about to start its 10And from imprisonment.

This story first appeared in the November 4 daily issue of The Hollywood Reporter at the American Film Market.

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