Well, let's look at the Internet Movie Database for their recent films.
Under Jackie Chan
, apart from some Asian films that never made it over here, I see Rush Hour 3
(2007), Around the World in 80 Days
(2004), The Medallion
and Shanghai Knights
(both 2003), and The Tuxedo
(2002). None of which exactly set the world on fire. RH3 almost
earned back its $140 million budget; Knights cost $50 mil, grossed $60 mil; and I'm pretty sure the others were all more or less flops—some of them monumentally so. You pretty much have to go back to 2000 (Shanghai Noon
) or 1998 (Rush Hour
) to find big American hits. (His Hong Kong films may have done better, but that's a different market with, as the theatrical dubs have shown, only limited crossover potential into the USA.)Jet Li
seems to be doing a little better. I seem to recall Danny the Dog/Unleashed
getting some pretty decent critical acclaim but didn't earn its $45 million budget in the USA, and Fearless
grossed $24.6 million in the US—a respectable sum for a Hong Kong import. War
didn't earn back its $25 mil budget. Even The One
, Li's arguably most well-known American film, didn't quite earn back what it cost to make in the USA.
Of course, when you take into account international
box office figures, not to mention DVD sales, these films all end up in the black, but even so, none of them was a mega smash hit.
One of the things I learned in the film classes I took as part of my media major is that when well-known stars have flops, one of the tricks that the studios try to do is team them up with other such stars, so that hopefully the draw of two slightly-tarnished names will add up to more than the sum of their parts and perhaps revitalize their careers.
I can't speak to Ocean's X+10
; I expect sometimes the studios will put together a big group of stars who are doing reasonably well to try to come up with a hit that's even better. Maybe that's one of those "exceptions that proves the rule" everybody talks about. But I don't see anything in either Chan's or Lee's recent American film careers to cast doubt on the idea that this is a career-rescue film for them.