The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal) is already a critical favorite with an amazing 92% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an 83% Positive score at MetaCritic, but now it is a huge popular success as well. It’s not a surprise to see Ultimatum at the top of the weekend box office heap, but it has far exceeded most expectations. Ultimatum grabbed $25.5M on Friday, which should translate to a staggering $72M opening weekend. That’s easily the best opening in the franchise topping The Bourne Identity’s $27.1M and The Bourne Supremacy’s $52.5M.
This also marks the best opening weekend of Matt Damon’s career.
Damon, however, thinks another chapter is inevitable. He just doesn't know if he wants in: "The studio obviously wants to keep it alive. I mean, look, Universal is owned by GE. When they sell a refrigerator that works, they want to try to sell more of them. But from the creative side, this is definitely the end of the story of this guy's search for his identity." If there is a sequel, Damon believes there should be a hiatus first. "I think the way you could do a No. 4 is to do it in, like, 10 years."
Of course, the studio might not want to wait that long. "I'm not surprised Matt said that, after what he just went through," says Universal's president of production, Donna Langley. "But if we had a great script, my hope is we could be persuasive."
We first met in a bar in Washington, D.C., 15 years ago. It was on that day that Damon first learned how to sign expense vouchers to the studio. When he learned the power of a signature on the bar bill, he ordered a half dozen or so Bloody Marys - just to see if it worked. Yes, studios pay the traveling expenses of their actors, even if they're not yet stars.
A decade and a half later, Damon is an Oscar winner (for writing, not acting) and Fraser is limited to a rehash of the movie "Mummy" every few years. There is no question but that Damon gets an expense account much larger than bar bills these days. His rumored salary for "Ultimatum" is $15 million, give or take a few million.
"Someone once told me that being famous would be a thrill for, maybe, a week, and then it would all be over. I missed out, even on that week," he said. "I've never enjoyed that aspect of the business, but, blessedly, they leave me alone for the most part. It would be boring to get photos of me learning lines. My wife and I walk down the street. They can take a photo if they want, but I don't think it would sell."
Next, TWIB presents "Front Row Fans," a segment sponsored by Chevrolet that explores Matt Damon's relationship with his beloved Red Sox. Damon talks about his experiences growing up in the heart of Red Sox nation in Boston and what he was doing as he followed the 2004 squad's march to the World Series title.