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HUMAN KINETICS

Sports at the Movies


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

September 22, 2011

From a studio exec’s perspective, the timing of the “Moneyball” release is a perfectly executed double play.  Not only is baseball gearing up for its peak, as the regular season winds down and the postseason and World Series beckon, but the movie’s on-screen competition this weekend is relatively week.  The only other major motion pictures opening this Friday are “Dolphin Tale,” a family-friendly Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment release about a rescued dolphin starring Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman; and “Abduction,” a Tyler Lautner thriller backed by Lions Gate that will mainly draw the video gaming crowd.  For the thinking person, “Moneyball’s” the thing.

Baseball movies, however, have traditionally not performed as well at the box office as other sports films – especially those starring Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler.  And consider that Michael Lewis’ football feel good The Blind Side, which was turned into a hit movie in 2009, grossed more than $300 million worldwide.  Here’s a look at the biggest opening weekend takes for sports movies in general and baseball movies in particular:

Biggest Opening Weekend for Sports Movies

“The Longest Yard”               $47,606,480
“Talledega Nights”                 $47,042,215
“The Waterboy”                      $39,414,071
“The Blind Side”                    $34,119,372
“Blades of Glory”                   $33,014,202
“Dodgeball”                            $30,070,196
“Space Jam”                            $27,528,529
“Coach Carter”                       $24,182,961
“The Game Plan”                    $22,950,971
“Remember the Titans”           $20,905,831
“Seabiscuit”                            $20,854,735
“Friday Night Lights”             $20,269,025
“Kicking and Screaming”       $20,159,925

Biggest Opening Weekend for Baseball Movies

“The Benchwarmers”              $19,656,429
“The Rookie”                          $16,021,684
“A League of Their Own”      $13,739,456
“For the Love of the Game”   $13,041,685
“Fever Pitch”                          $12,400,125

And the “classics,” in 1980’s dollars:

“Major League”                      $8,836,265
“Field of Dreams”                   $5,424,810
“The Natural”                          $5,088,381
“Bull Durham”                        $5,009,301




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Beyond the Scoreboard
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
$19.95
Beyond the Scoreboard eBook
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
$19.95

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