Though he’s been brilliant on television in “Black Adder” and has done some of the best modern slapstick with his character Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson has never really cracked into American movies as a leading man. And yet his films keep coming out in America. Johnny English Reborn is a sequel to Johnny English, which made $28 Million in America and $132 internationally. Reborn is due September 16, and costars Dominic “McNutty” West and Rosamund Pike. Check out the trailer…
This doesn’t look painful, but there’s no other way to read its American release as anything but contractual obligation. These films must make enough in England that the theatrical release just helps video sales domestically.
The film also features former Bond Pierce Brosnan and “X-Files” alum Gillian Anderson. The trailer shows a taste of the co-stars, but this is obviously Atkinson’s show. The training montages look obvious, but Rowan Atkinson knows slapstick fairly well.
With a September release, Universal may think they can collect some off-season dollars. For his work over the years, Atkinson does have a loyal American audience, but it’s a niche market. Likely the numbers for the first film will repeat here. Modest domestic business (if any), huge international numbers. So it goes.
Did you see the first Johnny English?