Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy, starring WWE’s Dave Bautista, opened to the tune of $94 million (projected) at the box office this past weekend. This puts Bautista, who goes by the ring name of simply “Batista,” right behind Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – Fast & Furious 6 scored $97.3 million in its opening weekend last spring – when it comes to the greatest opening weekends for a pro wrestler of all-time.
When it comes to Batista, it isn’t just the huge opening weekend that has fans on the WWE sides of things talking; it’s that he actually nailed his role as Drax the Destroyer, a well-known Marvel character that debuted all the way back in 1973. The former six-time world champion worked seamlessly with the ensemble cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Vin Diesel and others to create this instant classic.
To celebrate Batista’s big weekend we’ll take a look below at some of the other major pro wrestling stars who garnered attention for their contributions to the big screen.
• While he didn’t really find much success at the box office, Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea certainly made his mark. Although he only logged a handful of minutes on-screen as “Thunderlips,” this is probably Hogan’s best role because he barely had to speak. Sylvester Stallone was so impressed by Hogan’s performance against Andre the Giant in their “Showdown at Shea” match that he would offer him the opportunity to play this Mountain of Molten Lust” in his third Rocky offering.
The match between Thunderlips and Balboa added a nice little change of pace to what still stands today as arguably the greatest sports film series of all-time.
“The Hulkster” would be tapped for a lead role in New Line Cinema’s No Holds Barred, a film that produced a whopping $4.9 million in its opening weekend back in June of 1989. Hogan would go on to feud with Zeus, who was played by his co-star, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, in the WWF after the film was released. If I told you that I kept a straight face while typing all of this and reliving this whole piece of pro-wrestling history in my head I’d be lying.
Many will argue that Hogan was the most overrated wrestler of the 1980’s. However, you cannot argue that he had a huge hand in making pro-wrestling the big time phenomenon it is today due to his ability to entertain. Somehow that skill got lost in translation when he moved to the big screen, as he would only find himself in small time cameos following No Holds Barred. To his credit, his voice work as Terrafirminator F.O. in Gnomeo and Juliet” added some humor to Disney’s 2011 hit 3-D computer animated film.
• “Diamond” Dallas Page and Danny “Machete” Trejo made magic as “The Unholy Two” in Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects.
• Many thought we’d see plenty more of Paul Levesque (Triple H) in moving pictures after his inclusion in the third and final film of the ultra popular Blade series, Blade: Trinity.
• Detroit, Michigan’s Kevin Nash has found moderate success in the world of film with roles in feature films like The Punisher, The Longest Yard, and most recently as a male stripper in the hit Steven Soderbergh film Magic Mike. We will spare you a clip from that film and instead hit you with a clip from Nash’s portrayal as Super Shredder in TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze.
• Before he was the Governor of Minnesota, and after his stint as a professional wrestler, Jesse “The Body” Ventura had a great year in 1987 alongside Arnold Schwarzengger in Predator and The Running Man. Like Schwarzenngger, the former Navy SEAL officer and conspiracy theorist continues to live up to his “no time to bleed” persona.
• The most legendary big man of all-time, Andre the Giant, will also forever be remembered for his role in one of the most charming films of all-time – The Princess Bride. “Anybody want a peanut?”
• While this pro-wrestling super heel may never have found major success on the big screen, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper continues to appear at Horror conventions around the States to sign autographs on copies of They Live DVD’s and VHS tapes. The film only cost $3 million to make and earned $13 in its time on the big screen. If you find yourself reading a top ten cult film’s of all-time list and this one isn’t included in it then I would immediately dismiss that list. Piper and Keith David’s fight scene in the film remains as one of the greatest screen fights of all-time as well.
• No one from the world of professional wrestling has found more success in Hollywood than “The People’s Champion” himself – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His films have made nearly $2 billion total worldwide with eleven of them surpassing the $100 million marker. “The Rock” has become a go to leading man for films in every genre. He’s also helped already successful franchises like The Mummy and Fast and Furious continue their success.
Johnson’s most recent major motion picture release, Hercules, had a slightly disappointing opening last weekend finding itself in the number two spot behind Luc Besson’s Lucy. Johnson will reprise his role as DSS federal agent Luke Hobbs in Fast and Furious 7. That film is currently set to be released on April 3rd of 2015. The most electrifying man in all of Sports Entertainment has also been rumored to be the latest addition to the Marvel film universe as Luke Cage.
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (official trailer)
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) attempt to put aside their difference for the greater good when they hook up took take down a criminal mastermind that simply goes by the name of Brixton (Idris Elba) in the first ever Fast and Furious spin-off — Hobbs & Shaw.
Check out the official debut trailer for the film above ahead of its August 2nd US release.
Meet Drago’s son Viktor in the new official CREED II trailer
IN THEATERS NOVEMBER 21
Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu, Andre Ward, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren
First Look: Joaquin Phoenix ‘Joker’ makeup reveal
Director Todd Phillips released the following footage of Joaquin Phoenix as Joker in the upcoming film of the same name.
This was the first look we got at Phoenix in his Joker makeup which is a combination of a throwback to Cesar Romero’s iconic portrayal of the “Clown Prince” with a little bit of John Wayne Gacy mixed in. Overall, the reaction to the video has been extremely positive with DC fans thirsting for a departure from the DCEU.
It should also be noted that this may not be the final look for the character.
Here’s a description of what we know about Phoenix’s Joker thus far via Wikipedia:
A failed stand-up comedian disregarded by society who is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic criminal mastermind. Phoenix is the seventh actor to portray the Joker in a film; prior to his casting, Leonardo DiCaprio had been considered. Phoenix had been interested in a low-budget “character study” of a comic book character and his agent recommended that he set up a meeting with Warner Bros. to discuss, but he ultimately declined. Phoenix later became interested when the project was announced, stating, “It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe … It might as well be the thing that scares you the most”. Phoenix lost a considerable amount of weight in preparation.
As of this writing, Joker is set to release on October 4th, 2019 in the United States.
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