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The best news for Paramount is that they can build a series of films like this, and that's where the money is.
It dropped only 11% over labour day weekend, and after only 17 days it had already pulled in more than 3 times its opening weekend gross.
Is there a large enough audience for this type of film in 2001? In 1981, The Cannonball Run made million overall, so there is no reason why Rat Race can't make a hundred. On the marketing front, Paramount has a great trailer playing that seems to be stirring audiences into race mode.
The TV ads at this point have been sparse, at least for this 30-year-old male.
A sleezy casino owner (Cleese) cooks up the scheme so that some of his high rollers can place multiple bets on the contestants and track them while they race against time and each other for the prize.
En route each contestant finds creative ways to beat the clock: Owen (Gooding Jr.) commandeers a busload of Lucille Ball impersonators on their way to a Lucy Convention, a mother and daughter duo (Goldberg and Chapman) have a run-in with "Squirrel Lady" (Baker), Enrico (Atkinson) hitches a ride with an organ donor delivery truck, Nick (Meyer) has an airborne cow encounter while dangling from a balloon, the Cody brothers (Vieluf and Green) have their own cow encounter and Randy (Lovitz) steals Adolph Hitler's limo. Animals somehow manage to foil the contestants along the way.