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Will Next Goal Wins Revive the Soccer Movie Genre?

Movies about sports have always been popular, but it’s been a while since there was a genuine blockbuster in the genre. Could Next Goal Wins give sports fans a movie to cheer about later this year by cashing in on the current high profile of soccer?

All About Next Goal Wins

Directed by Taika Waititi, this movie introduces us to Thomas Rongen (played by Michael Fassbender), a Dutch-American soccer coach who has the task of trying to guide American Samoa to the FIFA World Cup. This seems like an impossible task for one of the lowest nations in the global soccer rankings, who had lost 31-0 against Australia a few years before and had suffered a run of over 30 consecutive defeats.

It’s based on a true story that was shown in a 2014 documentary of the same name. That documentary by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison was well-received by critics and audiences alike. The new movie based on it was filmed in Hawaii at the end of 2019 and will be released by Searchlight Pictures on November 17 this year following a series of delays. Apart from Fassbender, it will feature the likes of Oscar Knightley, Elizabeth Moss, and David Fane.

Will It Be a Success?

Reviews for the 2014 documentary version of Next Goal Wins suggested that knowledge or love of soccer isn’t needed to enjoy this story, which could be crucial in helping the new movie reach a wider audience. Having said that, interest in the sport is currently huge following the spectacular victory by Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This means that more fans are now interested in watching the games or betting on the outcome than ever before, expanding the number of people who could be interested in the movie.

Is the soccer betting market big enough to make a difference in the chances of success for movies about this sport? It certainly appears this way. The Sportingtech website reveals the dimensions of the sports betting market in 2023, with 24/7 coverage of more than 100 sports and 1,300 different betting markets. Their platform offers hundreds of thousands of betting events every year and the fact that it can be tailored for any global market tells us that sports betting is now carried out over many parts of the planet, with soccer the favorite sport in many countries.

Boxing, martial arts, and motorsports make up the top of the list of the highest-grossing sports movies to date. Will Ferrell’s Kicking & Screaming from 2005 is listed as the top-grossing soccer movie of all time in this Bleacher Report article, with over $52 million. After that come She’s the Man from 2006 and 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham, so it’s been a while since a massively successful film based on this sport was released.

A look by Goal at the number of followers that the top players have across social media platforms lists Cristiano Ronaldo in first place with over 790 million followers, and then Lionel Messi with 526 million and Neymar with 379 million. In terms of the US market, close to 17 million fans watched the World Cup Final from the Lusail Stadium on December 18 last year, so the global market for a soccer movie appears to be higher than it’s ever been.

Next Goal Wins promises to show us a fascinating story of how one team struggles against the odds to try and achieve its dreams.  It has the potential to be a fantastic movie and there are many millions of soccer fans across the world who could help make it a success.

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