Southpaw: Jake Gyllenhaal’s Sports Melodrama

The Weinstein Company’s sports drama, “Southpaw,” which cost $25 million, grossed $16.5 million from 2,772 theaters.

A generic boxing drama–and star vehicle for Jake Gyllenhaal–Southpaw did better than expected.  The picture attracted a diverse crowd that was 24% Latino, 21% African-American, and 60% under the age of 35.

Dividing critics across the nation, the film’s approval rate on RottenTomatoes is 58 percent, which means that 3 out of every 5 reviews have been positive (and 2 negative).

Gyllenhaal, the film’s star and increasingly impressive actor, was front and center, doing interviews on many venues, from Fresh Air to Sports Center, while recounting the physical transformation he underwent to believably play a fighter.

“Jake Gyllenhaal was everywhere and people responded to him,” said Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Company’s distribution chief.

He predicted a long run, noting, “It appeals to the people on a mass level and it’s a very satisfying film.”

The weekend box office race unfolded in the shadow of a shocking act of violence after a gunman opened fire during a Thursday night screening of “Trainwreck” in Louisiana, killing two women and injuring nine people before turning the weapon on himself. Safety concerns across the country may have caused some consumers to steer clear of cinemas.