‘You never know with a sports movie’
With a production budget of $20 million, modest by today’s Hollywood standards, “Draft Day” does not have to be a “Frozen”-caliber smash ($1 billion-plus worldwide at the box office) to be deemed financially successful.
The movie has some challenges, though. Having a 59-year-old Kevin Costner playing a general manager trying to make some player-personnel moves at the NFL draft is not something that spells automatic box office magic — though Costner clearly has had success in sports-themed films in the past. For “Draft Day,” the quality of the movie, and some positive reviews from critics and audiences, will be essential.
“You never know with a sports movie,” said Jeffrey Lyons, longtime film critic and sports fan. “Sports fans want accuracy. When you saw that Anthony Perkins looked like he never threw a baseball in his life, ‘Fear Strikes Out’ [a Jimmy Piersall biopic from 1957] didn’t have a chance. Even ‘42,’ which I liked last year, had some inaccuracies with how players were depicted. A movie like ‘Draft Day’ has to do something special, show you something you’ve never seen before. If the director and the NFL deliver on their promise of authenticity, there’s no reason why it can’t find a solid audience in the theaters and on video and digital at home.”