By and large, the heist thriller tends to be a reliable method of enticing audiences into the theater, especially if there’s a proven A-list action star in the lead role. That being said, it becomes an altogether riskier proposition when said star’s box office credentials are being called into question and the budget is blockbuster-sized, something 2005’s Hostage found out firsthand.
At the time of the movie’s release in March 2005, leading man Bruce Willis wasn’t quite the draw he was at his peak. Bandits, Hart’s War, Tears of the Sun, and The Whole Ten Yards had all bombed hard in the four years previously, so there was a serious question mark as to whether or not the Die Hard icon could open a formulaic-sounding $75 million genre film.
The answer proved to be a resounding no, with Hostage earning less than $10 million its opening weekend to debut in a disappointing fourth position, while it could only just barely recoup its production costs in total. Middling reviews didn’t help, either, but the film has at least managed to embark upon a resurgence on-demand.
Per FlixPatrol, Hostage has negotiated a spot on the platform’s most-watched list, which is admittedly to be expected when Willis’ back catalogue always tends to draw them in on streaming. In Hostage, he plays a former negotiator living a quiet life in the suburbs, at least until an intricately-planned robbery that ends up involving his family forces him back into action outside the lines of the law. It’s predictable stuff, but that looks to be exactly what Netflix customers are after.