Matt Damon hasn’t taken on the role of Jason Bourne since 2007, but it doesn’t look as if the long layover has had any ill effect on the interest of moviegoers. “Jason Bourne,” the fourth Damon-led film in the series and the fifth overall in the franchise, opened this weekend to $60 million domestic and currently sits at $110.1 million worldwide.
Not bad for a guy who couldn’t even remember his name the first time fans were introduced to him.
Since 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum,” Damon has repeatedly hinted that he was done with the franchise that had made him into a movie star. However, the promise of director Paul Greengrass’ return — who helmed “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatium” — plus a likely healthy payday was reason enough to dip back into this particular well. Universal Pictures must be especially pleased as their planned 2012 spinoff franchise “The Bourne Legacy,” starring Jeremy Renner, never quite got off the ground ($276 million worldwide).
“It’s no secret that people were anticipating a reunion of [Damon and Greengrass],” Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief, said to Variety. “Putting the team back together made smart business sense.”
“Jason Bourne’s” $60 million debut marks the second-biggest opening in the franchise behind “Ultimatum’s” $69.3 million. Despite the new film’s mixed-to-negative reception, it’s clear that the franchise still has moneymaking legs.
“It proves that this is a franchise that’s still viable and that it can continue if they want to keep making them,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore, told Variety. “‘Jason Bourne’ is the perfect title for this film, because that’s who everyone wanted to see return.”