The Bad News Bears

Release Date: July 22, 2005
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, December 29, 2004
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Let them play!

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
38/166 David Mumpower This is a movie I am confident Walter Matthou would love.
50/85 Kim Hollis It's a foul-mouthed little movie that is absolutely hilarious.
54/60 Les Winan Aggresively mediocre. I was able to count the laughs (or mild chuckles even) on one hand.

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"Let them play! Let them play!"

After 27 years, the Bad News Bears have finally returned from Japan. No, the infamous group of baseball misfits has not been stuck at the same Terminal as Tom Hanks. Instead, the group has been patiently waiting for Paramount to give the greenlight to a new series of adventures. Thanks to the Bad Santa team, that day has finally come to pass.

Like Disney, Paramount has been looking to reinvigorate dusty franchises in a blatant attempt to milk dormant cash cows. The Bad News Bears franchise spawned three films and a short-lived television series. The success in large part hinged upon the masterful casting of Walter Matthau in the first film (though William Devane was also great in the second one...the less said of Tony Curtis in part three, the better). The legendary actor portrayed a woefully inappropriate role model who was unexpectedly placed in a position of influence with some struggling youths. To everyone's surprise, the entire group blossomed as the team concept carried the day.

The theme of an immature coach finding redemption through youth league coach has proved so popular that we have seen various offshoots of it over the years. Hardball, the Keanu Reeves classic(?) is the most notable example, though there are several others, such as Goldie Hawn's Wildcats and Rick Moranis's Little Giants.

How, then, does Paramount plan to freshen up what has become a depreciated idea? They have contracted the key players from one of the most creative releases of 2003, Bad Santa. That's right, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the duo who weren't afraid to let Santa get his hands dirty, are ready to take on the Bad News Bears theme. But the masterstroke here is that they have brought Santa himself, Billy Bob Thornton, along for the ride. Thornton, who portrays a football coach in the much more dramatic Friday Night Lights, is ready to take a more comic turn on the leadership concept. Frankly, there isn't anyone else in Hollywood who is a more natural fit to follow in Matthau's footsteps. The Bad News Bears franchise is poised to return to greatness thanks in large part to his presence. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Bad News Bears
Main Cast Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden
Director Richard Linklater
Screenwriter Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 111 minutes
Screen Count 3,183
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Bad News Bears
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 6/18/0430.07 30.07 2694 11161.91 11161.9 114.32 114.32 0.00
Kicking & Screaming 5/13/0520.16 20.16 3455 5835.00 5835.0 52.58 52.58 0.00
Bad Santa 11/28/0312.29 12.29 2005 6131.00 6131.0 60.06 60.06 0.00
Sandlot, The 4/9/934.92 7.16 1772 2777.00 3890.5 31.78 46.28 6.24



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