Game Night (film)

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Game Night
Game Night (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by Mark Perez
Starring
Music by Cliff Martinez
Cinematography Barry Peterson
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 23, 2018 (2018-02-23) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $37 million[2]
Box office $108.5 million[2]

Game Night is a 2018 American black comedy film directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and written by Mark Perez. The film stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, and follows a group of friends whose game night turns into a real-life mystery, the film's supporting cast includes Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall and Kyle Chandler.

Warner Bros. Pictures released the film on February 23, 2018. It has grossed $108 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, praising the dark humor and the cast's performances.

Plot[edit]

Competitive gamers Max and Annie meet during trivia night at a bar, quickly fall in love, and get married, they are trying to have a child, but their attempts are unsuccessful due to Max's stress surrounding his feelings of inadequacy when compared to his vastly more successful, attractive brother Brooks. During Max and Annie's routine weekend game night with their friends Ryan, Kevin, and his wife Michelle, Brooks shows up and immediately shows Max up by arriving in a Corvette Stingray and sharing an embarrassing childhood story during charades. Annie also finds Brooks extremely obnoxious, and decides to work together with Max to defeat him at the upcoming game night, which Brooks offers to host at a house he's renting while visiting. Max and Annie also try to keep game nights secret from their neighbor Gary, a humorless and awkward former police officer who stopped being regularly invited when his wife, a former friend of the couple, divorced him.

When the guests arrive, including Ryan's new date, Sarah, Brooks says he's initiated an interactive role-playing mystery game, promising the winner his Stingray, after a while, an actor playing an FBI agent informs them of the narrative of the mystery, only for two masked men to break in and assault him and Brooks. The guests, believing it to be part of the game, idly watch, after Brooks is dragged out of the house, the couples begin to solve the mystery using the clues left behind by the actor. While Kevin and Michelle play the game fairly, Max and Annie track Brooks down using his phone's GPS location, while Ryan and Sarah track down the company in charge of managing the game, hoping to find the answer there.

Max and Annie track Brooks down to a seedy bar and, using a pistol left behind by Brooks during the struggle (which they believe to be fake), they manage to take the keys to the storage closet, where Brooks is being held, after Annie mistakenly fires the gun and shoots Max in the arm, confirming the legitimacy of their danger, the three escape, where Brooks admits that he actually makes his living buying and selling things on the black market, in particular a Fabergé egg sought by a man known only as the Bulgarian and is owned by a man using the alias Marlon Freeman. With his captors in pursuit, Brooks exits the moving car to guarantee Max and Annie's escape.

Eventually, the others learn of what they've become involved in, avoiding police on one of Brooks's warnings. Trying to determine the identities of the Bulgarian and Marlon Freeman, they go to Gary's house, under the false pretense of a game night, in order to use his computer. Max finds out that Marlon Freeman is named Donald Anderton and learns of his address, though cannot find information on the Bulgarian, the group leaves Gary's house and arrives at Anderton's address, where he is hosting an underground fight club. As the others search the house, Ryan spots the egg in a safe on the wall and is caught trying to steal it, the group escapes with the egg, but accidentally break it. They discover the egg is a worthless fake, but end up finding a list of names that was stored inside of it, realizing this was what the Bulgarian wanted.

The group finds Brooks and his captors on an under-construction bridge and move in to rescue him. Facing execution, Brooks reveals to Max his own insecurities throughout the years as a reason for his life of crime and only wanted to be as successful as Max, before the group gets killed, they are rescued by Gary, who is shot in the chest. Max and Annie, who have repeatedly rebuffed his requests to join them in game night, try to encourage him to pull through by promising to invite him to every future game night. Gary then reveals that he faked the entire scenario with the two captors, felons who agreed to help in exchange for a shortened parole, trying to trick them into letting him join game night again, he is, however, unaware about the egg or Brooks' involvement in it, and they are immediately attacked by the real Bulgarian, who captures Brooks after he swallows the list, revealed to be people in the witness protection program, to keep it out of his hands. Max and Annie use Brooks' Corvette (Brooks having snuck the keys into Max's coat pocket to ensure that he won) to drive to the airport and stop the Bulgarian from taking off with Brooks in his jet, they knock the Bulgarian out and tie him up and free Brooks.

A few months later, Brooks, under house arrest for his crimes, still manages to sell the list for $3 million (though also earning another $20,000 from each person on the list to let them know they've been tipped off), and Annie finally becomes pregnant. While the group (including an inept Gary) are continuing their game night, men with guns get ready to storm the building.

A sequence during the closing credits reveals a diagram and models of the portion of the night that Gary had planned; in a post-credits sequence, Kenny, a man whom Michelle mistook for Denzel Washington, meets Debbie at a gas station.

Cast[edit]

Additionally, the film's directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein cameo as Carter and Dan, respectively. Malcolm Hughes appears as Kenny (credited as "Not Denzel"), while Jessica Lee appears as Debbie, Gary's ex-wife. Jeffrey Wright makes an uncredited cameo as an FBI Agent.

Production[edit]

On May 24, 2016, Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema hired Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley to rewrite and direct the film Game Night, which Jason Bateman produced through Aggregate Films.[3] In January 2017, Rachel McAdams, Bateman, and Jesse Plemons were cast in the film's lead roles;[4][5] in February 2017, Kylie Bunbury joined the cast, while in March, Lamorne Morris, Billy Magnussen, Kyle Chandler, and Sharon Horgan were also added.[6][7][8][9][10] In April 2017, Jeffrey Wright was cast in the film as an FBI agent, a role he ultimately played uncredited.[11]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began in early April 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.[12][13]

Release[edit]

Warner Bros. Pictures had originally scheduled Game Night for release on February 14, 2018.[14] The date was later pushed back to March 2, 2018, before being moved up to February 23, 2018.[15]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of April 19, 2018, Game Night has grossed $68 million in the United States and Canada, and $40.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $108.5 million, against a production budget of $37 million.[2]

In the United States and Canada, Game Night was released alongside Annihilation and Every Day, and was projected to gross $13–21 million from 3,488 theaters in its opening weekend.[16] The film made $5.6 million on its first day (including $1 million from Thursday night previews). It ended up grossing $16.6 million over the weekend, finishing second, behind holdover Black Panther.[17] The film dropped 38.8% in its second weekend, to $10.4 million (above average for a comedy), and finished 4th, behind Black Panther and newcomers Red Sparrow and Death Wish.[18] It dropped just another 24.5% in its third weekend, grossing $7.9 million and finishing fifth.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82%, based on 182 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "With a talented cast turned loose on a loaded premise — and a sharp script loaded with dark comedy and unexpected twists — Game Night might be more fun than the real thing."[20] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has an average score of 66 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 78% overall positive score.[17]

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap praised the cast, writing "Fast and funny, filled with memorable characters, and able to balance slapstick and violence without spilling too far in either direction, this frenetic R-rated farce is that rare comic gem that lands on all the spaces without ever going to jail."[22] Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman gave the film a positive review, saying "Even at 100 minutes, Game Night pushes its premise to the wall of synthetic escapism. Yet the movie manipulates its audience in cunning and puckish ways. It's no big whoop, but you're happy to have been played."[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GAME NIGHT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c "Game Night (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 22, 2018. 
  3. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 24, 2016). "'Spider-Man' Homecoming' Scribes On Board For 'Game Night' At New Line". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 4, 2017). "Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams to Star in Comedy 'Game Night'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 19, 2017). "Jesse Plemons Joins Jason Bateman in New Line Comedy 'Game Night' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 16, 2017). "'Pitch' Star Kylie Bunbury Joins Jason Bateman's Comedy 'Game Night' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 6, 2017). "'New Girl' Star Lamorne Morris Joins Jason Bateman Comedy 'Game Night' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 16, 2017). "Billy Magnussen Joining 'Game Night' Opposite Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 22, 2017). "Emmy Winner Kyle Chandler Joins New Line's 'Game Night'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 23, 2017). "'Game Night' Gains Another Player In Sharon Horgan". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (April 4, 2017). "Jeffrey Wright Joins Jason Bateman in 'Game Night' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  12. ^ Hensley, Ellie (April 11, 2017). "New Line's 'Game Night' filming in Atlanta". Atlanta Business Chronicle. American City Business Journals. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  13. ^ InqPOP! (April 21, 2017). "It's game on as shooting begins on New Line Cinema's "Game Night"". InqPOP!. INQUIRER.net. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 3, 2017). "'Godzilla Vs. Kong', 'Game Night' Among Many Warner Bros. Release Date Changes For 2018 & Beyond". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 6, 2017). "Warner Bros/New Line Change Up 'Game Night' Again Next Year – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 21, 2018). "'Black Panther' Posts Record $21M Pre-Summer Tuesday; Second Weekend To Reap $104M-$109M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 25, 2018). "'Black Panther' Breaks More Records: $108M Second Weekend Is Second-Best Ever As Marvel Movie Heads For $400M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 4, 2018). "'Black Panther' Busts Past Half Billion; 'Red Sparrow' Flies Low With $17M – Sunday AM B.O. Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 11, 2018). "'Black Panther' Rules 4th Frame With $41M+; 'A Wrinkle In Time' At $33M+: A Diversity & Disney Dominant Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 9, 2018. 
  20. ^ "Game Night (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Game Night Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  22. ^ Duralde, Alonso (February 20, 2018). "'Game Night' Film Review: Winning Action-Comedy Passes Go, Collects $200". TheWrap. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  23. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (February 20, 2018). "Film Review: 'Game Night'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 

External links[edit]