Thank You Cannon Films
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States and no doubt many people will be sharing what they are thankful for today.
Like most people I am thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful that I’m in relatively good health, that I have a job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over my head and puts food on my table.
But I am also thankful for Cannon Films…
Growing up and watching movies like Revenge of the Ninja, American Ninja, Missing in Action, The Delta Force, Bloodsport and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (the only Cannon movie I saw theatrically). I really didn’t pay that much attention at the time to who produced the film, I was a weird kid but not that weird. But years later, I look back and realize how many Cannon Films were a huge part of my video renting experiences of the 1980’s.
Cannon disappeared in the 90’s and it would be over a decade later that my love for Cannon Films would be forever solidified. It was the night I saw Charles Bronson in Death Wish 2.
Now I had seen the original Death Wish for the first time probably a year or two earlier, I did enjoy it and I was aware that there were sequels, but at the time didn’t seek them out. But after one viewing of Death Wish 2, I needed more Death Wish in my life.
So after watching the life altering Death Wish 3 and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, I started doing more and more research about Charles Bronson and all the movies he made for Cannon. There was 10 to Midnight, Assassination, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, Messenger of Death and my favorite non-Death Wish Charles Bronson movie of all-time, Murphy’s Law.
It was about that time I really got my appreciation for Cannon Films. They entertained me as kid with the ninjas and the breakdancing, then in my teens when they helped launch the career of Jean-Claude Van Damme and later as an adult when I discovered the amazing talent that was Charles Bronson.
All this from an independent film company run by two men who absolutely loved movies, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.
Which brings me to my next point… the company continues to entertain me long after it is gone. All the stories and information that are coming out about Cannon thanks to the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films are fascinating to me. That documentary is the movie I am anticipating seeing more than any other movie in recent memory, I’m not even sure Episode VII of Star Wars will have me as hyped (basically because those terrible prequels forever tainted my Star Wars love) as the Electric Boogaloo documentary. It has taken all my will power not to take a gamble and order the Australia version of the DVD and hope I can find a device it will play on, but when I see it, I want to see it in all its glory, so I’m holding off for the U.S. release.
I recently found this list online of the Top 25 Grossing Films in the history of Cannon Films. (Credit goes to Noel Murray at TheDisolve.com)
1. Breakin’ (1984), $38,682,707
2. Missing In Action (1984), $22,812,411
3. Joe (1970), $19,319,254
4. The Delta Force (1986), $17,768,900
5. Invasion U.S.A. (1985), $17,536,256
6. Masters Of The Universe (1987), $17,336,370
7. Death Wish 3 (1985), $16,116,878
8. King Solomon’s Mines (1985), $15,057,465
9. Kickboxer (1989), $14,697,005
10. Firewalker (1986), $11,949,484
11. Bloodsport (1988), $11,806,119
12. Missing In Action II: The Beginning (1985), $10,755,447
13. American Ninja (1985), $10,499,694
14. Cyborg (1989), $10,166,459
15. Murphy’s Law (1986), $9,947,631
16. Bolero (1984), $8,914,881
17. Salsa: The Motion Picture (1988), $8,892,589
18. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), $8,025,872
19. Runaway Train (1984), $7,683,620
20. Ninja 3: The Domination (1984), $7,610,785
21. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), $6,880,310
22. Braddock: Missing In Action III (1988), $6,193,901
23. Assassination (1987), $6,075,793
24. The Last American Virgin (1982), $5,829,781
25. Hero And The Terror (1988), $5,301,200
Of the 25 movies on the list, I own 15 of them.. If nothing else told me that Cannon Films played a huge part in my life, that fact should.
So thank you Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus for all you did for me and other fans of movies all over the world. As the great Michael Dudikoff said, you put a stamp on pop culture and I am thankful that you did.