The fourth installment in the Die Hard series, Live Free or Die Hard, opened yesterday and made a strong estimated $9 million in it’s first day. It was most likely released early to put some distance between itself and Pixar’s Ratatouille, which will most likely be in first come Sunday. And then Transformers lands this Tuesday to take away part of its core demographic.

Fox execs are pleased with its performance, saying they “can’t remember the last time one of their movies scored so well.” It is appealing to all four quandrants, not just older audiences that remember the original Die Hard in 1988 and the sequels in ‘90 and ‘95.

They’re also happy with the reviews the movie has been getting, currently hovering around a surprising 76% on RottenTomatoes. This is exceptionally high for an action movie and especially for a sequel. Most reviews cite the complete lack of rational believability, but admit it’s a fun, action-packed adventure.

This is all good news, especially after the news spread about the changes to the iconic John McClane character. Bruce Willis no longer smokes in the role, as this affects the MPAA ratings now and he wanted to send a “positive message.” He also no longer spouts his not-so-family-friendly catch phrase “Yippie-ki-yay-motherf….” because of the PG-13 rating. I’ve heard he shouts it, but the ending is covered by a gunshot sound.

I’ll have more in my review hopefully soon.

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