- Directed By: Ivan Reitman
- Written By: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph
- Release Date: April 11, 2014
- Domestic Distributor: Lionsgate
- Cast: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Ellen Burstyn, Frank Langella
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: OddLot; Summit/Lionsgate|
|Domestic Gross: $28,842,237||Overseas Gross: $981,962|
Draft Day was originally set up at Paramount, but its option ran out in late 2012 after the studio deemed the screenplay unmarketable — and that there would be no foreign marketplace for the sports film, which predictably ended up being the case. Then in December 2012, the script topped the Blacklist as the #1 most liked unproduced screenplay, which put heat back around the picture. Lionsgate picked up the project and the movie was co-financed by OddLot and Summit/Lionsgate. The budget for Draft Day was an estimated $25 million.
Draft Day received the full support of the very image conscious NFL, which even vetoed a scene, in which an effigy of Costner’s character is hung and the picture conformed to the propagandist standards of the league. The filmmakers were also required to showcase many of the NFL’s corporate sponsors throughout the movie, including Pepsi, Gatorade, Papa John’s and General Motors.
The film was dated for April 11, about a month prior to the actual NFL draft day and the Kevin Costner vehicle was given a strong marketing push by Lionsgate, including a very pricey Super Bowl TV spot. Along with the traditional ad spend, Draft Day landed tons of additional exposure from the NFL, which used the league’s TV, digital and radio outlets to push the movie. NFL.com, the NFL Network and SiriusXM NFL Radio heavily advertised the pic and despite the effort, Draft Day was tracking for a soft $12 million opening.
Reviews were mixed and it opened against Rio 2 and Oculus and came in soft with $9,783,603 — placing #4 for the weekend led by holdover Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Draft Day saw a 41.6% second weekend decline to $5,713,076 and then fell 51.3% to $2,783,208 in its third frame, which ended its chances at breaking out. Draft Day closed its US run with $28,842,237. Lionsgate would see returned about $15.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover the P&A costs or any of their exposure to the budget.
American Football themed movies have little appeal outside of the US and Draft Day was theatrically released in just a handful of markets and cumed a mere $981,962.