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October 4, 1999
Sixth Sense Trio Get Together Again
Arthur J Pais in New York
Manoj Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis and Walt Disney are coming together again, but the movie is not a sequel to their The Sixth Sense which has grossed $ 235 million in America. The studio is tight-lipped about the film but two factors seem to be certain: Samuel T Jackson, one of the most versatile of American actors, will play a key part, and the film is going to cost considerably more than the $ 40 million The Sixth Sense.
Shyamalan is reportedly writing a sequel to The Sixth Sense but it could be taken up late next year after the unnamed new project and there are slim chances that Willis would be in it. Those who have seen the film will know why, and those who haven't will know soon.
The movie's shocking, surprise end, Willis believes contributed immensely to its success.
"Both Night and I were concerned that the ending would be given away," he said in an interview. But people fell in love with the movie and they decided not to tell their friends or family or anyone. "And then when you got to the end, you immediately want to go back to see how we tricked you."
But even then Willis says he was surprised that people went back to see the film three or four times.
Another reason for the movie's big appeal is that though it deals with death, it sends out a hopeful message, Willis notes. In Western civilization people do not want to talk about death, he complains. But any film that discusses death in the context of a gripping story and makes people optimistic should have wide appeal, he feels.
He must have remembered how Ghost, which starred his former wife Demi Moore, went to become a smash hit across the globe, grossing over $ 550 million about a decade ago.
Meanwhile, The Sixth Sense is getting ahead in the handful of foreign territories where it has opened. It has grossed about $ 15 million in three weeks, and Walt Disney is expecting huge numbers when it opens in Japan and Europe in the next four weeks.
"The movie's reputation has spread across the world, and given Bruce Willis's popularity abroad, one can expect `Sense' to make serious money abroad," says Gitesh Pandya of Boxofficeguru. The question of course is if the film would make far bigger business abroad than in the United States. Most movies gross abroad one-and-a-half times its American gross.
This is Bruce Willis's highest grossing film in America, and it will have to beat Armageddon abroad which grossed over $ 350 million, to set a record for Willis.
"It will be a tall order," says Ric Ornellas, film-commentator and former cinema editor of The Washington Square News. "Audiences abroad want to see movies with spectacular scenes, and The Sixth Sense has none of them.
"But then audiences can spring surprises and who knows The Sixth Sense could still be a formidable hit abroad," wrote Ornellas.
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