Release Date: February 6, 2004

This is the Russki's spleen. When in doubt, elbow them there.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
19/48 Les Winan I'm a sucker for movies about sports. When else is it safe for a man to get choked up at the movies?
21/55 Reagen Sulewski Some of the best hockey action committed to the big screen and a testament to the lost art of teamwork.
30/92 David Mumpower Makes winning a hockey game seem somehow more important than winning the Cold War.
76/126 Kim Hollis Hockey is boring, but Kurt Russell is great.

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On the heels of Disney's almost-win in the 2003 Stanley Cup final, Disney gets to win for real at the movies in January 2004. Kurt Russell teams up with Noah Emmerich and Patricia Clarkson in The Miracle, a re-creation of the US win at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980.

After Mystery, Alaska grossed a paltry $8.9 million in October 1999, one might think Disney wouldn’t be willing to give this a green light, especially considering Mystery's production budget of $28 million. But the Hometeam of The Mighty Ducks all of a sudden loves hockey, so this movie is definitely moving forward. Funny thing is, Disney has been talking lately about dumping their hockey franchise and sticking to what they do best, making movies. Whether the franchise is still in Anaheim when the film comes out in January 2004 is an unknown, but if The Miracle does The Rookie type business, maybe Disney can afford to keep the team for another run at the cup, albeit without star Paul Kariya.

Sports movies in general can be tough to open. Buena Vista tried boxing in January 2000 with Play it to the Bone starring Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas. The movie flopped wildly, grossing $3.43 million in its opening weekend and only $8.43 million overall. On the other hand, Varsity Blues, a teen-targeted football movie got off to a great start in January, and actually became a fairly big hit in 1999. Varsity Blues opened to $15.92 million and had a final gross of $52.9 million, which isn’t bad given the target demographic. Look for The Miracle to be targeted more at Disney’s family audience.
(John Hamann/BOP)

August 21, 2003
The title has been changed to just plain "Miracle." All Mike Rich, screenwriter for The Rookie worked on a rewrite of newcomer Eric Guggenheim's initial draft (based on his pitch), Guggenheim has apparently been awarded screenwriting credit. (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)

Vital statistics for Miracle
Main Cast Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich
Director Gavin O'Connor
Screenwriter Eric Guggenheim
Distributor Walt Disney Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/miracle/home.html
Rating PG
Running Time 135 minutes
Screen Count 2,605
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Miracle
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Rookie, The 3/29/0216.02 16.65 2511 6381.00 6381.0 75.60 78.60 4.72
Varsity Blues 1/15/9915.92 18.97 2121 7506.00 8569.8 52.89 63.02 3.02
Play it to the Bone 1/21/003.43 3.83 1556 2204.00 2371.7 8.43 9.43 2.45
Mystery, Alaska 10/1/993.10 3.69 1673 1853.00 2115.6 8.89 10.59 2.87



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