Draft Day a dud at the box office


After 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested eight days ago for claiming he had a bomb with him in an airport security line, some of you said, “Draft Day already is on DVD?”

Whether it’s dubbed a bomb or a dud, the movie isn’t doing very well.

According to BoxOffice.com, Draft Day has made less than $20 million through its first 10 days of release.  After opening with a tepid $9.7 million, the film grossed a mere $5.9 million over Easter weekend.  And with an estimated cost of $50 million, that makes it a major disappointment.

It also could make the league think twice before signing off on the use of its logos and team names and colors for a project that, while paying the NFL on both ends, may not be something that the fans find worthy of the league’s involvement.

Football movies generally don’t do well, probably since fictionalized football isn’t much of a substitute for the real thing.  They definitely won’t do well if they come off not as the real thing but as a sanitized infomercial for the proverbial shield.

It’ll be interesting to see whether other scripts will end up being dropped over the transom at 345 Park Avenue, and whether the NFL will have any interest in attaching itself to a story that won’t deliver the audience, even if luminaries like Kevin Costner and Ivan Reitman are involved.

If the league wants to really make a mark with a movie, they should get DeNiro and Scorcese to do a film version of Playmakers instead.

107 responses to “Draft Day a dud at the box office

  1. It’s a pretty niche movie. I mean if your a fan of the draft and the NFL, you enjoyed it for the theme park ride it was.

    I paid to see it twice. Once with my son and once with some friends.

    It’s not oscar worthy and wasn’t really intriguing for the well versed fan, but it was good. I’ll buy the DVD as I’m obligated to do with all football movies. LOL

  2. Movie looked terrible and bombed as it should. Make an interesting football movie and maybe it’ll succeed. But since the NFL is guaranteed to muzzle any of the more controversial (i.e interesting) moments of any movie, it just won’t happen.

  3. People are talking about red flags with Clowney?.. How about red flags with this steaming pile? Claims to be better than Field of Dreams? Check. Claims to be better than Bull Durham? Check. Adam Shefter is in the movie? Check. Oh crap! Is that freaking Chris Berman? Check. Kevin Costner exclaims “I love this job!” while apparently being employed by the Browns? Check. This movie has a weaker story than Debbie Does Dallas but claims to be the freaking Godfather. I think I would rather watch soccer.

  4. Well believe it or not I happen to be something of a movie critic. I will keep my review short in saying that I thought the movie was aesthetically well done and fairly entertaining, but the film is loaded with head scratching things such as the finer points of how trades work and how normal human beings would talk to each other. I have always wanted to see a movie that made it feel like you could understand a day in the life of a GM and on draft day in particular, and I still would like to see one. This movie had way too many messy parts.

    To me when you are an A-list actor you should know what you are doing with your role and your lines and if it doesn’t make sense you should speak up and say this script has to be revised or I’m not doing it. Costner didn’t hold them accountable to providing him with a better script to work from. And they could have created much better story scenarios and some really amazing and creative trades to make this story work. I can see what they were trying to do, but they failed miserably in execution. They needed to have a smart and educated football consultant review the script.

  5. Going to a movie in a theater is typically a giant waste. Ticket costs are absurd and if you dare order a beverage, your wallet will be so much lighter. I imagine this is 10x worse for parents…several tickets you have to buy and your kid wants nachos and a drink. Hope your kid hates movies.

    Hardly ever go to the theater.

  6. Any Given Sunday was a bust too but it has done OK for itself over the years. This will probably be the same.

  7. The type of football movie that would do well in theaters is also the type of movie the NFL would never get on board with. You will never see the league backing something like Any Given Sunday, or a film version of Playmakers.

  8. I can’t say I loved Draft Day but it wasn’t a bust either. Apparently America only likes movies where stuff and people are blown up. Color me shocked.

  9. I love the NFL Draft and was really looking forward to seeing the movie. However, I thought the film was very mediocre – it lacks credibility on multiple fronts.

  10. If you are a fan of the NFL and a Draft Junkie you will love it. I thought it was a great movie.

  11. Too bad. I actually enjoyed it and the pseudo-feel of what it might be like for GM on the day of the draft. Don’t know if it needed the whole second story of the girlfriend, but I still liked the movie.

  12. To be fair, there are some decent football movies:

    The Longest Yard (original version)

    Blind Side (though the book was better)

    Friday Night Lights (again, the book was better…and the TV series was terrific)

    Am reading “Collision Low Crossers” right now…interesting read as well.

  13. When I kept seeing the preview commercials I just assumed it was gonna be a made for TV movie on the lifetime Chanel or something,who on earth would pay to go watch a movie about the draft?captain America yes,nfl draft?jeesus

  14. Just imagine how poorly it would have done if it had featured the Bills instead of the Browns as originally planned.

  15. like many people, i can’t get enough of the NFL year-round, and i have zero interest in seeing this movie. it just looks terrible and corny, and the subject matter itself isn’t nearly interesting enough to make a whole fictional movie about.

  16. Once I heard the NFL had say in what could be portrayed in the movie, I opted out. The NFL tries to control everything like when the bullied ESPN into not participating in the concussion report. While I love my team, I think the NFL league office is disingenuous when dealing with the general public….they think we are just a bunch of sheep willing to watch anything….wrong!

  17. It’s a sports movie.

    They don’t profit very well.


    It’s meant for dudes.

    Do you think gentlemen went to theaters to watch Lindsay Lohan in “Mean Girls”?

  18. I saw it by myself. First time in my life I’ve seen a movie alone. It was pretty enjoyable for me, but the theater maybe had 10 people in it. I didn’t think the acting was bad, I thought some of the trades that went down were a little far-fetched.

    Also, I don’t understand the Aldon Smith jab in this article. Anyone else?

  19. Did they even consult with someone with football knowledge because simple common sense and logic didn’t seem to matter.

  20. Seriously, who green-lighted this? A comedy about office suits for the Cleveland Browns trying to figure out what to do on draft day? That’s no comedy, it’s a tragedy.

  21. Basically after running through about a million completely implausible ideas (for example GM not even being in the War Room mere minutes before the draft) Kevin Costner trades 3 first rounders for the number one overall. He then inexplicably drafts a guy that most likely would have slid into the 2nd round at number one overall. He goes from blubbering inept GM to ruthless wheel and dealer in a matter of minutes and trades remainder of his day 1 draft picks for the next 3 years for number 6 overall pick. He then miraculously sticks it to the GM of the Seahawks who took advantage of him in the beginning to get all his picks back and the 7th overall. Oh yeah, just throw in a kick returner for the hell of it.

    C’mon seriously?? I’m all for movies taking creative approaches even if they don’t always make the most real world sense but when you sell a movie based on the NFL draft then roll out a sequence of events that would literally never happen on “Draft Day” it’s hard to get on board. Add in lack of character development and the plot a 10 year old could have predicted you end up with a great movie to watch at around 11:30 PM on HBO when you can’t sleep.

  22. well it did have the disadvantage of coming out at almost the same time as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and you also had Rio 2. I have not seen the movie. Probably will see it when it comes out on DVD. But when you have Jennifer Garner saying “Yeah I wanna talk about football” and she looks like she has no clue about football, kinda says No thanks. And with all the ads on the NFL network, ESPN, during the super bowl, etc that this movie is looking like it won’t even make it’s cash back. I can see theaters pulling it as soon as they can and it will be on DVD by the NFL draft. What the NFL should do is a documentary that encompasses the 1st rd. Show all the war rooms and all the behind the scenes stuff.

  23. I enjoyed the movie. I am a nfl draft junkie
    and liked how they portrayed draft day trades
    The angst the players feel wondering if they
    will be drafted high
    I went with my wife and had to explain
    some things. Just like now Johnny football
    was dropping from 1 to maybe 10
    She enjoyed it. Hasn’t been to game since
    Broadway joe was at Shea

  24. It’s a dud at the box office, not necessarily a dud as a movie, it reviewed well, it’s not rotten according to rotten tomatoes. It was never going to be a blockbuster.

  25. The producers should not have had such a high budget. I plan to see it, but having big name actors killed their budget.

    There are plenty of good actors that could have done it for a lot less.

  26. I wonder how much of that 50 mil production budge was the NFL fee to use the league and team logos ?

    This movie will make its money on the back end through rentals and purchases, not in the theaters.

  27. Never saw the movie, however for those asking that it be about a better team, I wonder what fun would the build up be to “now with the 31st selection in the draft………..a trade for 2 2nd’s and a two 3rd’s next year”, ohh can’t wait for the sequel?

  28. Wait what?..Jennifer Garner is in this? Oh boy I’m really gonna have to convince my self to rent this now, smh.

  29. Had to know the movie was going to tank when Costner gave his interview on NFLN. After rambling about how he prepared for role by being such a great fan, he went on to congratulate Seahawks and Mike Holmgren for taking a chance on hiring a college coach, Pete Carroll. (For some reason that never went into to the continuous rerun loop that NFLN uses for every other live interview)…

  30. I haven’t seen it and probably won’t until it’s out on bluray, but I thought the trailer looked pretty good. And to a poster above, I agree that “the replacements” was a very good football movie but I don’t know if its the best. Two of my favorites are “north dallas forty” and “the program”. Both of those movies show some of the real, shady, gritty aspects of football that the NFL would never sign off on.

  31. I enjoyed it. For those talking about how unrealistic it is, go watch the DocuDrama “captain America”. It’s a movie, it’s entertainment, relax and stop taking yourself so seriously, sheesh…

  32. Would have made more sense to come out the weekend before the draft, competing against Captain America wasn’t smart. They also should have played to the Costner/Garner relationship in the previews so people knew it wasn’t all about football. Other problem I had was that it felt rushed, change the name of the movie and have it be a couple of days leading up to the draft as well. The NFL made their sponsors happy though, you would have thought that this was a Michael Bay movie with all of the product placements.

  33. here’s the reason this movie did badly
    1. CAPT AMERICA # 1 movie in the world and still making more $$$ 5x better movie too see
    2. the people expected too see some type of live action football in the movie not so much drama and etc
    3. 2 other good movies out like Sabotage and others
    4. should have waited too the week of the draft too release this movie would have made more $$$
    5. again as browns fan its good movie but lacked live action “get some football player stunt doubles for the action and it would have been a great movie”
    6. TICKET PRICES for movies are too high these days “$6.50 if u lucky like i was in NJ b4 noon”

  34. how about not showing it during the Easter holiday and waiting til after maybe just maybe there wouldve been a better turnout. so stupid to open a movie on a holiday. no wonder they didn’t make anything

  35. I thought the movie was good and a lot of fun for the NFL junkie that I am.

    Amazing how many people bashing it in this thread haven’t even seen it, but profess to be experts on it. Yet those that did see it say the same thing I am…it was pretty good and entertaining. No one thought it would be Oscar worthy…but what is?

  36. They sealed their fate when they screwed over the Bills and their fans, who were supposed to be the original characters…not the Browns. It was to be filmed @ RWS.

    I still haven’t gone to see it, I refuse to.

  37. Maybe if it was fictional with some auto chase scenes, and rookies doing cocaine in the green room on draft day. Maybe the GM having an affair with the star QB’s wife or something. There are a million ways to have made this film more entertaining. A documentary might have been better. Straight to video might have made more money.

  38. Went and saw the movie for a $5 movie day. It was kinda clichéd and a little predictable at the end. Kevin Costner carried the film. Without him it would’ve been a very forgettable film featuring cameos of real-world figures and B-list celebrities. Also, the film just won’t hold up even 3 years from now. (And the concept of the Browns doing well in the draft is laughable.)

  39. Kevin Costner will be nominated for Best Actor….. for the Razzies that is! Those of you who don’t know what the razzies are, goggle it. You will love what you see! I guarantee it!

  40. The trailers showed a movie with horrible dialog and paper thin characters. Gee, what a shock that it bombed.

    Might have helped if it had been about Jets, Cowboys, Packers or some other team that sells a buttload of merchandise. The Browns don’t spur a lot of excitement outside of Cleveland.

    Could have been worse. Could have been about the Rams or the Cardinals.

  41. After watching trailer and commenting here and NFL.com, I said Netflix it or get it for buck 50 at Redbox. Not a compelling story, would have been better having Dallas featured verses Cleveland. Not a put down aimed at Cleveland, but more compelling, featuring the Cowboys and their decades long futility in the standings, high draft picks, big name signings with Jerry at the helm and his self proclaimed seemingly bigger fan base and a billion dollar palace. You would have seen if Dallas is truly Americas team. The other spending huge on FA, having decades long high draft picks, Washington

  42. As NFLnics and draftnics – my son and I loved the movie. It may have been more fantasy than relaity – but with the real draft pushed back three weeks it was a nice primer.

  43. That movie looked ridiculously bad. When the commercial came on and he’s all excited that he pulled off a trade with Seattle my bowels let loose. Everytime.

  44. Seen it at a “senior day special” for $4. The story is lame and characters never really developed. Who in a sports front office looks like Jennifer? Most of the females I’ve seen look more like Rosie O’Donnell or Mary Kay Cabot.

    I agree with a poster above in that the brain trust behind this movie should’ve spent the past couple real draft days with the real teams and recording real conversations leading up to selections or trades. Show us some of the personalities, prejudices, and the processes involved with making those selections….almost a documentary. Assure the various teams and their decision makers nothing would get released for at least the 3-4 years needed to make the movie.

    I was hoping for something along the lines of “Moneyball.” A film about the whole off-season, leading upto draft day. And, since it was set with my Browns, getting snookered on a couple of smaller trades before the “big one.” I think the Falcons getting over on the Browns for Julio Jones would’ve been the better example.

  45. I heard Homeboy traded 3 first round picks for the no.1 overall pick – which he used for a late 1st round linebacker that would’ve been there with his original first round pick… this was shown as if it was Costner swindling the seahawks/jaguars.

    So yeah – I went and saw Captain America instead.

  46. I saw it, really liked it, will buy it when it comes out. All except piddy weren’t was good, he was absolutely terrible.

    Let’s see a movie about SPYGATE… which will never happen.

  47. If the NFL wants a great movie about the NFL… they need to take the leash of and let the creative people go to work on a realistic, timely story.

    This movie is so predictable in that the NFL is painted in a such a great light and it’s almost a long NFL commercial. Bad movie.

  48. I liked the concept of this movie until I saw Kevin Costner. Sorry but I just don’t buy him as someone who works in the NFL or even has knowledge of football. For some reason Costner is branded as the “sports guy” actor, when the only 2 movies that made him were Bull Durham and Field of Dreams which were both chick flicks.

    Dennis Quaid in this role, I could buy, but Kevin Costner? He’s a hack who looks like he’s playing pretend …

  49. Steer clear of this one. Get instead the tried-and-true football classics, like “The Longest Yard” (the 1974 original), “North Dallas Forty”, “Semi-Tough” and even “The Best of Times” with Kurt Russell and Robin Williams.

  50. First of all Kevin Costner doesn’t act he’s just Kevin reading lines. Secondly I saw it for free and still wanted some sort of compensation for time lost. Movie was a make believe load of filth!
    Any Given Sunday was the best football movie of all time, and it would have been an all-time classic if it had been about the Miami Dolphins instead of the Miami Sharks. But we all know the NFL is too scared to tell it how it really is!

  51. The only redeeming quality of Draft Day was seeing Terry Crews, Dennis Leary, and Jonah from Veep in the movie. Both were terribly underused as they both could have provided a ton of comedy…something this movie desperately needed.

    From the beginning the whole plot was preposterous. A draft prospect calls the GM on his cell phone and whines about needing his team to pick him? No agent would let his client call a GM directly and no GM would kowtow to a draft prospect like that. And then he trades 3 1st round picks to move up 5 spots? That’s an absurd trade. Even when Atlanta jumped from 27 to 6 in 2011 they only traded a 1, 2, and 4 from that year plus a 1 and 4 the next year. And then Costner trades up from ~38 to 5 for only 3 2nd round picks? That is also an entirely preposterous deal. And then he fleeces the Seahawks GM that took his 3 1st round picks into giving his 3 1st round picks BACK to him in exchange to move up 1 spot? Deus Ex Machina at it’s worst. I could deal with the sub-par acting if the plot or the events were coherent or made any sense at all, but they weren’t. Terrible movie.

  52. Want to make big money with a football movie? Make every character and location fictional (LA would count as a fictional location, since there is no NFL team there), and get real former players and execs to contribute content that would expose some of the NFL’s dirty little secrets – like how Pete Rozelle really did step in and kill the possible Raiders-Bears trade on draft day 1983 that could have ended with the Raiders having either John Elway or Dan Marino as their QB, about how RG1 really would kill to increase league revenue, or how players attempt to circumvent the substance abuse program. Now THAT, I’ll pay money to see.

  53. My question is: Will the Brownies do as well on May 8th as they did in the movie? History is not on the side of a team that’s had 50 QBs and 49 coaches in the last 10 years.

  54. I know this is an old post now and my comment won’t be seen by many, but I’ve avoided all stories about the movie to not blow any surprises. Now that I just saw it, I can say that I really liked it. I can see why it wouldn’t do well nationally, as most of the league’s darlings and big-market teams were shunned for the most part.
    As a Seahawk fan, it was very cool to have my team featured in the opening scene and a big part of the film, even though they did get played. I assume filming was done before the season even began, but still ironic for the SB champs to have the #1 overall.

    Great cameos (including yours, Florio) and good way to get a fix since the real Draft has been pushed back. Hopefully the NFL sees the error of their ways and the May Draft is one and done.

    Highly recommend this movie for ‘Niner fans that haven’t seen it. Awesome scene about the SBXXIII drive.

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