After nine years of waiting, audiences finally got to reunite with Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass as Jason Bourne took to the screens and kicked all sorts of ass. Thankfully for all involved, the latest film in the Bourne franchise didn't limit their destruction to the screen, as they obliterated the competition with a healthy showing at the market. More specifically, $60 million has found its way into the hands of Universal's bankers.
Jason Bourne started off this weekend's box office chase with a respectable $4.2 million coming in from Thursday's early showings, with its $60 million take estimated to be in the bank by today's close. Sure enough, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that not only did the domestic return of Jason Bourne match the previously predicted end result, it also became Matt Damon's second highest opening at the movies. As far as the franchise at large goes, the opening is another second place result, as The Bourne Ultimatum is still the high water mark with $69 million. However, it's a much better result than The Bourne Legacy's $38.1 million debut, so that's something.
If the Bourne franchise is a medical patient, then Jason Bourne's $60 million domestic opening would be considered a resuscitation for the ailing series. However, considering that the film has brought in $110.1 million against a $120 production budget, the result sounds less like a resuscitation and more like a thunderbolt that reset Jason Bourne's internal clock. Which is a good thing too, considering how the film was less than a resounding success with critics this past weekend.
With a less than pleasing Rotten Tomatoes score of 57%, Jason Bourne is in the books as the second lowest Bourne film in the series. While that's not exactly a total trainwreck, it's certainly not the sort of notices that Paul Greengrass or Matt Damon would have wanted to come home to. After all, a second entry with Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross, he of The Bourne Legacy fame, was put on hold, despite securing director Justin Lin some two years ago. With Jason Bourne back in play, the studio is obviously hoping to make the series relevant once more, in a landscape that's seen James Bond reboot his theatrical image to keep up with the fresh game Bourne was playing back in its early days.
Critical reviews aside, Jason Bourne has shown how the brand's name has held up over time, and how Matt Damon can still knock it out of the park by showing up. With the obvious sequels in the works, let's hope Universal and whatever team responsible for the next entry in the Bourne legacy will learn some valuable lessons from what they've done this time out. You can see the results for yourself, as Jason Bourne is in theaters now.