Jason Statham rarely garners any positive press from his typecast roles but no one expected the extent the damage his recent film, Wild Card would leave in its wake. Set in Las Vegas, Wild Card traipses through some of the leading casinos on the Strip and racked up a sizeable $30 million in production costs along the way.
Although it’s a little confusing where all that money went, the movie’s projections were also a little confusing. The film was made by Current Entertainment and Quad Films with the idea of being one of the highest grossing films of 2015 – they couldn’t have been further from the mark.
Wild Card is the adaptation of 1985 novel Heat, which was written by William Goldman and is a remake of the film that originally starred Burt Reynolds in his pomp. However, after the two productions companies projected that they would make a sizeable return on their outlay, they never foresaw what was about to unfold.
Jason Statham keeps Vegas safe for the little guy in this second low-wattage adaptation of a William Goldman novel…”
– Scott Foundas, Variety Film
The movie had its domestic release on January 30, 2015 and to most people’s predictions, bombed as expected. But few predicted it would perform as badly as it did. In the United States alone, Wild Card took a laughable $3,200 at the Box Office making it a contender for biggest flop of 2015 already.
However, this isn’t such a surprising statistic from a film in the casino genre. Many films over the last 10 years based on casinos and gaming in general have performed extremely poorly at the cinemas regardless of the cast and budget. Films such as Runner Runner, Poker Night, The Gambler and many more have seen poor Box Office takings let alone reviews.
But what is the most challenging is why this movie genre has become so unpopular. Poker is arguably still increasing in popularity with over 40 million Americans playing weekly and online casino gaming is also still on the rise since its explosion in 1997 through InterCasino, thousands of portals have surfaced online and millions play online daily. The stats just really don’t add up.
So, why are these films struggling so much when the industry and culture it appeals to is prospering? Let us know your thoughts below.
Watch the trailer for Wild Card here: