The Life of David Gale

Release Date: February 21, 2003

I'm better than all of you.

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Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney and Kate Winslet star in this film, which features the writing debut of Charles Randolph. Alan Parker, who has brought us such films as Mississippi Burning and The Commitments, directs the movie.

Spacey plays Dr. David Gale, a Texas professor and an opponent of the death penalty. He is falsely accused of the rape and murder of another activist and is sent to Death Row. The film is a series of flashbacks as Dr. Gale is telling his story to a reporter (Winslet) just days before his scheduled execution. The conviction was accomplished mostly from circumstantial evidence. The reporter and her assistant (Gabriel Mann) are determined to solve the crime and get the right person behind bars. (Marty Doskins/BOP)

Box Office Autopsy
And in the "unmitigated box office disaster" file, we have The Life of David Gale.

I think audiences smelled a rat here. If a film looks and feels like an Oscar contender, what's it doing opening in February? Universal had originally planned to open the death row film in December 2002, but for some strange reason they changed their mind. The Life of David Gale opened to only $7.1 million on 2,002 screens, which wasn't bad considering the subject matter. The Kevin Spacey film even had a not-bad secnod weekend drop of 36%, but then the legs fell off. For the next six weeks the film saw brutal drops above 50%, and for two weekends, above 70%. The film finished with a measely $19.7 million, far off the production budget of $50 million.

For Kevin Spacey, David Gale is another in what's becoming a lineup of poor choices for the great actor. Since winning an Oscar for American Beauty, Spacey had had lead roles in a lot of flops like The Big Kahuna, Pay It Forward, The Shipping News on now Gale. His only semi-hit since was K-Pax, and even its $50 million final gross wasn't out of this world. (John Hamann/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Life of David Gale
Main Cast Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
Supporting Cast Gabriel Mann, Rhona Mitra, Matt Craven
Director Alan Parker
Screenwriter Charles Randolph
Distributor Universal Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 130 minutes
Screen Count 2,002
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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