Paramount Pictures Disappointed by the Lackluster Performance of THE GAMBLER


Mark Wahlberg is… The Gambler

Paramount Pictures has been a major player in the movie business since its inception in 1912, producing a conveyor belt of classic films that will be forever ingrained in film history archives. But one of its recent productions slumped in comparison to the lofty expectations that the production company had for its last film of 2014.

The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 film, saw its release on December 19 in Cape Town as well as the rest of the world. However, what many of the Paramount crew didn’t forecast was that the film would have a similar release date to some of the biggest films of the year. During this time, the anticipated Unbroken; starring young British actor Jack McConnell was set for release. On top of this, the Hobbit’s final film was also slated for release, as well musical In to the Worlds, and Robin Williams’ last film, Night at the Museum.

Unfortunately, for Paramount and the film’s director Rupert Wyatt, this would greatly affect the films takings – especially in the first week of its release. Paramount had forecasted that the film would take $15 million in its first week, however it only took around $8.3 million as reported by Pro Box Office.

Click ahead for our take on why The Gambler was dealt a bad hand…



For most industry hacks the prospect of The Gambler going up against the likes of the Hobbit was only going to end one way, with the latter taking a colossus $42 million in its first weekend – and a considerable amount in Cape Town and South Africa collectively. Unbroken and Into the Woods both took a reported $32 million, dwarfing the figures of The Gambler.

With these meager numbers for The Gambler many industry experts have questioned whether the casino genre still has the standing it had in the late 90s? During that period the release of Rounders, which jumped on the back of the trend of online casino gaming that saw its inception via the groundbreaking InterCasino; in 1997 when it launched a platform to play roulette and slots, helping to grow the popularity of casino gaming and this particular film niche. Following this, a raft of casino films were produced to try and tap into this market, and successfully took huge amounts at the Box Office.

However, more contemporary productions such as the big budget Runner, Runner and Poker Night starring Ron Pearlman flopped at the Box Office reaffirming why industry specialists are having been questioning the validity of producing more films in this “aging” genre. Regardless of its takings, The Gambler has been received fairly well by the film community. And although it isn’t at the cinema anymore, look out for its physical and digital release in the upcoming months.


One Sheet movie poster for The Gambler

One Sheet movie poster for The Gambler


Article by guest contributor Amy Simmons

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