Racing movies and why they have unisex appeal

Posted on 16 March 2017
By Khyle Deen
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The world of sport and the glamour of Hollywood have been proven to go together like a lock and its key – with at least one big sporting movie being released every year. Most of them are usually appealing to a niche market, films based on horse racing however, seem to hold global appeal.

A fascinating point about horse racing movies, is that unlike most sporting films, they often appeal to both genders.

Yes, while some women enjoy other sporting films like rugby union or movies based around football, the unisex appeal that horse racing has is arguably unmatched.

There are a multitude of reasons for this, horse racing itself is a unisex sport. Looking at Sports betting for races including the Grand National, the biggest horse race in the world, Katie Walsh and second-generation jockey Nina Carberry are 2 of the top female jockeys in the competition and they’re changing the game for women and winning new audiences around the world.

On top of that, sports based films often focus on teams; this can be a big factor as it means that the film can find it hard to focus on just one character. Horse racing on the other hand, is an individual sport, so a movie can usually break that mould without difficulty, and easily be made to fit around one main character as and when necessary.

This definitely helps build global appeal as the actual sport can essentially move to the background a little bit, with the directors being able to focus on alternative storylines.

Taking a look at 2003’s Seabiscuit, the movie grossed $148,336,445. This makes it the fourth highest grossing sports film of all time, and while it’s a horse racing film, actual horse racing isn’t really prominent. This allowed director Gary Ross to focus on the emotional struggles of characters in the flick.

Though it’s potentially a trivial point, most people tend to have a real love for horses, A noteworthy number of almost 600 million people watch the Grand National annually to see some of the best horses compete and it can sometimes be quite a task to find someone that detests horse racing. It’s popularity is sky high and always growing.

Some may consider it trivial, but there’s plenty of evidence to show that love for horses reflects positively on box-office gross.

People will always go out and watch something that they enjoy, whether that be a psychological drama that makes you think, or horses.