2014’s Draft Day is the type of film rarely made by studios today – a glossy talky effort for grown-ups. The comedy and drama in Draft Day comes from the situations and the characters as the pressure mounts on the busiest day in the NFL. It’s not a sports picture per se, as it deals with the politics behind football. This is what makes the movie difficult to follow for non-NFL enthusiasts outside the US. It’s a complication proposition but director Ivan Reitman, along with writers Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph, navigate this with a script that attempts to explain the mechanics behind the sport.Kevin Costner is the king of sports movies having starred in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For Love of The Game.
Draft Day works because of Costner. His on screen persona brings a weight and authenticity to his character and his cinematic sporting background and all-American style add layers to an already well-defined character. The pic features an impressive supporting cast – Jennifer Garner, Ellen Burystn, Chadwick Boseman, Denis Leary, Terry Crews. Frank Langella and Sam Elliott – although some actors are given more to do than others.
Ivan Reitman’s final directing effort, Draft Day was a return to form for the director after several previous efforts failed to match-up to the many classics in his filmography (Stripes, Ghostbusters and Dave to name a few). The 2014 film is more inline tonally with 1986’s Robert Redford starrer, Legal Eagles than his broader comedy films.
Budgeted at $25 million, Draft Day grossed $28.8 million at the U.S. box office and less $981,000 million in international territories for a $29.8 million worldwide gross.