Columbia Pictures' 'Ali' Packs a Punch With The Biggest Christmas Day Opening Ever

Film Earns Record $10,216,625 Opening at the Box Office

PRNewswire
CULVER CITY, Calif.
Dec 26, 2001

Columbia Pictures' "Ali," starring Will Smith as the charismatic boxing champ and directed by Michael Mann, debuted yesterday with $10,216,625 in box office receipts, claiming the title as the biggest Christmas Day opening ever.

'Ali' scored a first-round knock down with the highest-grossing Christmas Day opening of all time," said Jeff Blake, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Columbia Pictures. "The film played well across the United States and Canada, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the momentum we have moving into the weekend."

"Ali's opening surpasses that of "Patch Adams," which had held the top spot with its Christmas Day (Friday) 1998 opening of $8,081,760. "Patch Adams" went on to earn $135 million in domestic receipts.

Last week, "Ali" earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor for Will Smith, Best Supporting Actor for Jon Voight, and Best Original Score. The Broadcast Film Critics Association also recognized the film with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor for Smith, and Best Supporting Actor for Voight.

Columbia Pictures Presents, In Association with Initial Entertainment Group, A Peters Entertainment/Forward Pass Production In Association With Lee Caplin/Picture Entertainment Corporation, and Overbrook Films, A Michael Mann Film starring Will Smith, "Ali." Directed by Michael Mann. Screenplay by Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson and Eric Roth & Michael Mann. Story by Gregory Allen Howard. The film is produced by Jon Peters, James Lassiter, Paul Ardaji, Michael Mann and A. Kitman Ho. Howard Bingham and Graham King are executive producers.

Also starring in "Ali" are Jamie Foxx as Drew "Bundini" Brown, Jon Voight as Howard Cosell, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X, Ron Silver as Angelo Dundee, Jeffrey Wright as Howard Bingham, Mykelti Williamson as Don King, Jada Pinkett Smith as Sonji Roi, Nona Gaye as Belinda, Michael Michele as Veronica and Joe Morton as Chauncy Eskridge. Paul Rodriguez, Barry Shabaka Henley, Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Mason, Candy Brown Houston, Michael Bentt, James Toney and Charles Shufford play other key roles.

Mann's first-rate technical crew includes two-time Oscar®-nominated director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, A.M.C., Oscar®-nominated production designer John Myhre, costume designer Marlene Stewart and editors William Goldenberg, A.C.E. (Oscar® nominee), Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E. and Lynzee Klingman, A.C.E. (Oscar® nominee). Co-producers are Michael Waxman and John D. Schofield. The music is by Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke. Soundtrack on Interscope Records/UMG Soundtracks featuring R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and more.

"Ali" is rated R by the MPAA for some language and brief violence.

Columbia Pictures is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television production and distribution, worldwide channel investments, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment products, services and technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.spe.sony.com/ .

"Academy Award(s) ®" and "Oscar(s) ®" are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

For further information please contact: Steve Elzer of Columbia Pictures, +1-310-244-7142

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SOURCE: Columbia Pictures

Contact: Steve Elzer of Columbia Pictures, +1-310-244-7142

Website: http://www.spe.sony.com/


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