Russell Crowe's assault on a hotel worker has damaged his new film's chances at the box office, according to movie experts.

CINDERELLA MAN - in which Crowe plays Depression Era boxing hero JIM BRADDOCK - opened with an impressive $18.3 million (GBP9.6 million) in its first weekend (3/4JUN05) at the American box office.

But cinema-goers have stayed away since the actor attacked NESTOR ESTRADA with a telephone last Monday (05JUN05), and the film struggled at the weekend with just $9.5 million, placing it sixth in the box office chart.

And critics are convinced Crowe's actions are responsible for the film's nose-dive.

GOLDDERBY.COM writer TOM O'NEILL says, "Russell Crowe plays a hero, but he's revealed himself as a bully. We've heard about Russell Crowe's brawls with paparazzi. But this time he went after an innocent victim. Russell Crowe has ended up in the lonely ring, taking on himself - and it could be a knockout."

Columnist JEFFREY WELLS adds, "Crowe has single-handedly turned Cinderella Man into a financial disappointment. His ability to demand the big bucks may be in great peril (if) audiences are going to look at his films...and say, 'Screw it, I don't want to pay to see that thug.'"

14/06/2005 17:10