Robert De Niro, John Goodman and Sylvester Stallone teamed on last night’s Saturday Night Live episode to perform as “Wise Guys.” The skit had the three men talking about Jesus like he was a kid from the neighborhood. On one portion, De Niro comments that Jesus might not be “little Joey’s kid.” In another conversation, they rehashed all the things they brought Jesus for his birthday. The skit mostly used the “ay” tough guy from New Jersey stereotype for humor. Whether people really enjoyed the skit or not, it did cause enough media buzz to do what it intended: promote Grudge Match.
Grudge Match stars De Niro and Stallone as life-long boxing rivals. Many years after their prime, they decide to settle their feud once again in the ring. From the trailer, it looks like the movie relies a lot on old men trying to be young humor. This is a similar comedy style to de Niro’s last major box office film, Last Vegas.
Last Vegas became the highest grossing movie for CBS Films. The film’s premise was similar to the Hangover franchise. It’s debatable whether stars like De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Morgan Freeman drew in audiences, or if the storyline was the reason for its huge success. It’s most likely a combination of both. However, there is no doubt that De Niro has enough name recognition to bring in big box office numbers. The same goes for Stallone. The Expendables franchise has been very profitable for him. Therefore, intense promotional efforts may not be needed for Grudge Match.
But small efforts like surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live definitely can help the film rather than hurt it. This should help Grudge Match draw in some of the younger audience who may not have had the movie on their holiday radar.
The film’s storyline blends comedy and drama, in a heartwarming way, so it should grab family audience more than films like Last Vegas and Expendables.
Grudge Match has a Christmas release day. As on of the most competitive times for movies, Grudge Match will face off against many heavy hitters, including American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall street and August: Osage County.
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