Battle Of The Sexes
- Rate Movie[Total: 33 Average: 3.3]
- Directed By: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
- Written By: Simon Beaufoy
- Release Date: September 22, 2017
- Domestic Distributor: Fox Searchlight
- Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $25 million||Financed by: Fox Searchlight; TSG Entertainment|
|Domestic Gross: $12,638,526||Overseas Gross: $5,949,279|
42 years after the 1973 Billie Jean King and Bobby Rigg tennis showdown that attracted over 90 million TV viewers, three projects based on the event were in development at the same in 2015. Battle Of The Sexes had attached Emma Stone and Steve Carell — rival big screen project Match Maker had landed Will Ferrell and HBO was prepping an untitled movie to star Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti. Battle of the Sexes made it in front of the cameras first and the other projects have not materialized.
The budget for Battle of the Sexes was $25 million and it was an in-house production for the specialty label Fox Searchlight, which majority financed and received additional capital from TSG Entertainment. TSG and Searchlight’s corporate parent FOX landed a slate financing arrangement in 2013 to replace Dune Capital, which had the same basic co-financing deal at FOX — TSG Entertainment would co-finance FOX films between a quarter of the costs and half of the costs, depending on the project.
Fox Searchlight dated Battle of the Sexes for a limited bow on September 22 and scheduled an expansion into wide release the following weekend. The picture would be the first of three 2017 potential award players for Searchlight along with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water. Searchlight spent $9.13 million on TV ads (as per iSpotTV), plus millions more on other traditional advertising and distribution expenses. With a bankable cast, coupled with solid reviews and an easy commercial hook, Battle of the Sexes was booked into 21 locations and pulled in a solid $518,332 with a $24,682 per screen average. The next weekend it expanded into 1,213 theaters and was tracking for a $6 million weekend, with expectations that it would play well over the next few weeks as it adds more theaters. It bowed against American Made and the Flatliners remake and saw a troubling $3,408,594 — placing #6 for the slow frame led by holdover Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The next weekend it increased its theater count to 1,822 with diminishing returns at $2,567,218 and Battle of the Sexes faded from theaters quickly. The domestic run closed with just $12,638,526.
FOX handled the majority of offshore markets that landed a theatrical release and numbers were low in every country. Australia posted the highest gross with just $1.9 million, followed by the UK with $1.7 million. The recorded overseas cume is only $5.9 million.
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As Bridge notes, the tennis match was very easily forgotten after all the massive media hype surrounding the match. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Riggs was 55, and possibly threw the match to clear debts he made against the mob. The story is still intriguing, but the filmmakers were making a film on what turned out to be a dull, ordinary tennis match.