A ripped Jake Gyllenhaal headlines the boxing drama Southpaw, out Friday and it will attempt to bring in adult moviegoers looking for something out than effects driven sci-fi spectacles and sequels. Antoine Fuqua, director of Training Day and The Equalizer, is behind the camera with Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, and 50 Cent among the supporting cast. 50’s protege Eminem is featured prominently on the soundtrack and in the trailers and TV spots.
Gyllenhaal has been on a roll lately, particularly in the critical community. Last fall’s Nightcrawler gave the actor some of the best reviews of his career and many (including this blogger) feel he was snubbed for a nomination at Oscar time. Southpaw gives him another juicy role, but early word is somewhat mixed (it stands at 60% on Rotten Tomatoes at press time). Gyllenhaal’s recent track record suggests an opening in the low double to digits to mid teens could be a real possibility here. 2011’s Source Code debuted to $14.8 million while the following year’s End of Watch made $13.1 million out of the gate. The aforementioned Nightcrawler premiered with $10.4 million. I have a difficult time envisioning this matching his best opening of recent years – 2013’s Prisoners which made $20.8 million.
I’ll predict Southpaw is left with a start right in range with End of Watch, which would be fairly decent considering its rumored $30 million budget.
Southpaw opening weekend prediction: $12.9 million
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