What Makes Movies About Gambling Box Office Hits?

Whether it’s in a casino or playing the lottery, gambling still has a stigma attached to it, which makes people rather hide it from their peers. Yet, when it comes to movies, the world of gambling almost guarantees a film to be a hit at the box office.

Ocean’s Eleven to Thirteen, Casino, 21, Rounders, or Molly’s Game – the list of gambling movies is long, and almost all of them turned into successful films. What fascinates people about gambling without admitting it in real life?

Our Fascination With the Forbidden

I guess it’s fair to mention that successful gambling movies are rarely about a guy winning the lottery jackpot. 21 is about a group of students who beat casinos in Las Vegas by counting cards in Blackjack. Molly’s Game and Rounders are about illegal poker tournaments in hidden backrooms, and Casino (with Robert DeNiro) tells the story of the Chicago Mafia running casinos in Las Vegas and skimming the cash rooms.

All movies have in common the element of the forbidden, which is what fascinates people worldwide.

Think about it; playing a fruit machine at your local bar probably makes you appear like a desperate drunk trying to win this month’s rent. But what about beating a casino’s slot machines with a clever system? That’s suddenly cool, isn’t it?

Hold your horses, though. It’s fascinating in a movie, but please don’t try this at home. Slots, whether it’s online or offline, cannot be beaten. You can learn more about the why at OnlineSlotsPilot.com, but for now, let’s just pretend it’s possible.

Movies Let You Be Someone Else for Minute

What really makes these movies successful isn’t the fact that, deep down, we love gambling or that we actually think mafia bosses are good people. It’s much more the fact that for two hours or so, we can pretend to live someone else’s life while also cherry-picking which part of it.

Think about it; when you watched 21, you probably thought it would be cool to be Ben for a second, the ultra-smart math student who beats every Blackjack table. However, you probably don’t fancy being beaten up by the casino’s security. You probably also wouldn’t mind being a mafia boss making millions with a Las Vegas casino, but without the blood-shedding, obviously.

By the way, what’s true about gambling works the same for films about war, the mafia, or special agents. They all allow you to be someone else, often a hero, outlaw, or rebel, without facing the real-life consequences. There’s probably a reason you haven’t seen a film about a guy living his 9-to-5 life at the box office unless it’s about the misery of said life, like in American Beauty with Kevin Spacey, which makes the movie relatable to many.

Long story short, we love to watch movies about the forbidden and indulge in life not available to us. Being the mafia boss or the villain is cool and satisfactory as long as it’s on the screen, and we can return to our everyday life when we’ve had enough.

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