Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 29, 2015
Kim Hollis: Southpaw, the Antoine Fuqua film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, earned $16.7 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Ben Gruchow: This one is on my list to see, so I'm kind of avoiding any advance reviews of it or trailers or delving too deeply into the mechanics of the film's story or audience or how well it connects. On the basis of sheer numbers, it's not awful, especially considering that it was predicted to open lower than the other two films this weekend. In terms of boxing films, it's quite a bit better of a result than Grudge Match in 2013, which was the last time this genre was explored (if you don't count last September's Mary Kom, and that only made it to 140 theaters for two weeks).
Edwin Davies: This is pretty good seeing that the reviews weren't great and the ads made it look like a movie whose script was cobbled together from pieces of older boxing movies. I think this can primarily be chalked up to a stronger response from audiences than from critics and from Jake Gyllenhaal's current reputation as an actor who always does good work. His films don't bring in blockbuster numbers, but he's built up a solid following through the likes of Prisoners and Nightcrawler, and interest around a potentially Oscar-worthy performance (and his crazy physical transformation from being a living skeleton in Nightcrawler) probably helped raise this up a few notches.
Jason Barney: This was never meant to be a huge opening, it is starting with 2,700 screens. The $16 million dollar firs frame is fairly good considering the budget of $30 million. Domestically it will surpass its budget and then the international numbers (as much as they can be for a film like this) will probably push it to profitability.
The biggest part of this is the presence of Gyllenhaal, who is pushing to give audiences a wide range of characters and stories. You have to respect that and he is quietly providing a nice resume. Is he the biggest actor in town? No. Is he starting to become more and more noticed with the expectation of quality work? Absolutely.
Nightcrawler was very much liked by a lot of people. It was a nice project that made a lot of money compared to the cost. Prisoners was a larger effort that also made a little bit of money. End of Watch was made for $7 million but brought in $48 million worldwide. So you can see that he isn't the biggest star in Hollywood, but he is a smart investment for a studio.
Michael Lynderey: They don't have Jake Gyllenhaal to kick around anymore! Because his movies are doing well. Really well. A few years ago, he was oft criticized for not having stronger opening weekends (though who cares, really) for very good films like Source Code, but all that's gone out the window now. These days, he delivers very well-reviewed work in movies that also get more than respectable box office. He's almost becoming like Denzel Washington in his consistency and quality (not to overuse the comparison today, but it fits).