“The Gambler” starring Mark Wahlberg is drawing some attention at the box office after its Christmas Day release, but is certainly not going to win out over other popular movies that are attracting fans to theaters over the holiday weekend.
A remake of the 1974 title of the same name that starred James Caan, “The Gambler” pulled in $5 million on Christmas Day, which projects to a four-day weekend total of $18 million. According to Forbes, the film was a low-budget project at $25 million, a fact that will likely keep Wahlberg up on the screen and in theaters into January at least.
“The Gambler” is competing with the likes of Walt Disney’s “Into the Woods,” the Angelina Jolie-directed “Unbroken,” and the limited release of the comedy that sparked an international incident, “The Interview.” “Unbroken” and “Into the Woods” both earned more than $15 million on opening day, while “The Interview” took in only $1 million, but was in far fewer theaters and was also released via Video On Demand.
Wahlberg plays the role of a literature professor and gambler, running into trouble when he borrows too much in order to place bets. Also starring in the film is George Kennedy, who film buffs will recall won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the 1967 classic, “Cool Hand Luke.”
“Cool Hand Luke,” of course, had poker undertones woven into the film. Kennedy played the part of “Dragline,” the self-styled leader of the prison chain gang who gave Paul Newman the nickname of Cool Hand Luke when Newman (Lucas Jackson) pulled off a successful bluff during a poker game among the prisoners.