The year 2000 was when George Clooney broke his stalemate on movie stardom and launched his career as an A-list movie star. Wolfgang Petersen’s The Perfect Storm was seen as make or break, or more aptly sink or swim for Clooney.
The big budget drama was a Warner Bros. tent pole summer film and it was set to open opposite Mel Gibson’s American War of Independence epic, The Patriot. Both Clooney and Gibson shared a core fan base and the films would test their drawing power – although at the time Gibson was the more established star with unbreakable box office appeal. The sea-faring drama also has a hugely impressive supporting cast – Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John Hawkes, William Fichtner, Michael Ironside, John C. Reilly, Karen Allen and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
The Perfect Storm was the box office winner on its opening weekend scoring $42 million against The Patriot‘s $22.4 million. The film went on to gross more than $180 million at the box office, finally providing Clooney with an elusive hit with his name above the title – and proving to the press and Hollywood that George Clooney was indeed a movie star.
Budgeted at $120 million, The Perfect Storm grossed $182.6 million at the US box office and $328.7 million worldwide. Those numbers made it the fourth grossing film of the year in the United States and the eighth highest grossing film globally.