Fist Fight is a 2017 American comedy film directed by Richie Keen and written by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser. The film stars Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell and Christina Hendricks. When one school teacher unwittingly causes another teacher’s dismissal, he is challenged to an after-school fight. The film premiered in Los Angeles on February 13, 2017, was theatrically released in the United States on February 17, 2017, and grossed $41 million worldwide.
On the last day of school, right on Senior Prank Day in Roosevelt High, things don’t look good for meek English teacher Andy Campbell, who feels exceptionally expendable facing a bleak future in front of severe job cuts, just before the year’s new school season. But soon, things will go from bad to worse when feeble Campbell will infuriate the scary hot-headed history teacher Ron Strickland, who in turn, he will challenge him in an old-school, no-holds-barred, mano-a-mano throwdown in front of everybody, in the parking lot after school. Inevitably, now that the fight is on, no excuses, no regrets, and certainly no talking sense into Strickland, is going to save Campbell who needs to face the consequences of his actions and pay the heavy price. After all, snitches get stitches.
Fist Fight grossed $32.2 million in the United States and Canada and $8.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $41.1 million.
In North America, the film opened on February 17, 2017, alongside A Cure for Wellness and The Great Wall, and was initially projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,184 theaters in its opening weekend. However after grossing $600,000 from Thursday night previews and $3.8 million on its first day, projections were lowered to $10–12 million. The film went on to open to $12.2 million, finishing 5th at the box office.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 27% based on 113 reviews and an average rating of 3.9/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Fist Fight boasts a surplus of comedic muscle but flails lazily, and far too few of its jokes land with enough force to register.” On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a score 37 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale.
Writing for RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny gave the film of 3 out of 4 stars, saying: “Fist Fight stands up, at least a little bit, for storytelling”. In contrast, Richard Roeper gave the film zero out of four stars, saying, “I could tell you to sit through Fist Fight and then get back to me — but I like you, so I’m not going to urge you to subject yourself to 91 minutes of cinematic detention that felt twice as long and was so ugly, so mean-spirited, so bereft of laughs, I found myself rooting for a technical malfunction if only to catch a momentary breather.” British film critic Mark Kermode wrote, “Shoddily written, screechingly performed, crude, crass, endurance-testing… It’s utter, utter, utter rubbish”.
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