Two Can Play That Game

Release Date: September 7, 2001

We're all one snap away from happiness.

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Billed as a romantic comedy, with an all-black cast headlined by Vivica A. Fox, the film follows her character's exploits to gain control of her philandering boyfriend. Yawn.

What could easily be dismissed as another throwaway September (7th) release, the appeal and profit potential of Two Can Play That Game should not be underestimated. Ethnic, Def Jam-style humor has a limited but consistent following within its targeted audience, as last year's dirt-cheap $3 million Kings of Comedy proved, with an $11 million+ opening weekend on only 850 screens, and a total gross of $38 million in its complete domestic run.

As is typical of this sub-genre, Two Can Play That Game opens with no comparable competition, which may afford all the opportunity it needs to make surprising gobs of box-office cash by the end of its profitable and short-lived theatrical run. (Cal Hubbard/BOP)

Box Office Autopsy
Two Can Play That Game was a large box office success that went somewhat unnoticed in the tumultuous times of September 2001. Produced by Sony Screen Gems, Two Can Play That Game got off to a wild start, but then had the typical drop-offs of an urban film.

Two Can Play That Game opened to $7.7 million from only 1,297 venues in the first weekend of September 2001. It had a first weekend screen average of $5,953, and debuted in the second spot in the top ten, despite its low screen count. Sony chose not to expand in the second weekend, so that combined with the aftermath of 9/11 caused the film to drop 40% in its second weekend (still higher than average for the genre) grossing $4.6 million. The film ended up with a gross of $22.2 million during a quiet September.

Screen Gems, a division of Sony, made its $6 million dollar investment back in the first of weekend of release, and more than tripled their investment overall. The studio used the same formula in March of 2001 with The Brothers, which also cost $6 million and had a final pull of $27.5 million. (John Hamann/BOP)

Vital statistics for Two Can Play That Game
Main Cast Vivaca A. Fox, Morris Chestnut, Anthony Anderson
Director Mark Brown
Screenwriter Mark Brown
Distributor Sony/Screen Gems
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 90 minutes
Screen Count 1,297
Also see Trailer review by Calvin Trager
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Two Can Play That Game
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Waiting to Exhale * 12/22/9514.13 19.58 1253 11277.00 15036.0 67.01 92.88 4.74
How Stella Got Her Groove Back 8/14/9811.32 14.55 1395 8115.00 10035.6 37.65 48.40 3.33
Soul Food 9/26/9711.20 14.71 1339 8364.00 10568.9 43.49 57.13 3.88
Brothers, The 3/23/0110.30 10.99 1378 7477.00 7675.5 27.46 29.30 2.67
Why Do Fools Fall in Love? 8/28/983.95 5.07 1369 2885.00 3567.8 12.51 16.08 3.17



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