The Jackie Robinson 42 bio-pic drew the fans to the cineplex last weekend. It brought 27.5 million to the box office, giving it the best opening weekend box office of any baseball film in history. The film plays not only to fans of the sport, but also to people who understand Robinson’s pioneering role in advancing civil rights.
Baseball films often speak of the character of America in a particular era, for good or ill. Moneyball (2012) shows a culture in transitions from the intuitive and relational to the analyzed and statistical approach to work. A League of their Own (1992) about women’s teams during World War II. captures the rise of women in new roles and the struggle to maintain a sense of feminine values amid pressures to be competent in what had been a masculine dominated world. Field of Dreams (1989) gave a sense of nostalgic hope in connecting with our past and bringing the best of that into our present and future.
I’d be interested to know if others had favorite baseball movies and what they like about them.
The Best Opening Weekend Performances by Baseball Films according to Box Office Mojo
- 42, 2013, $27.5 million
- The Benchwarmers, 2006, $19.7 million
- Moneyball, 2011, $19.5 million
- The Rookie, 2002, $16 million
- A League of Their Own, 1992, $13.7 million
- For the Love of the Game, 1999, $13 million
- Fever Pitch, 2005, $12.4 million
- The Trouble with the Curve, 2012, $12.2 million
- Bad News Bears, 2005 version, $11.4 million
- Hardball, 2001, $9.4 million