When last we left Mike McDermott he was in a New York City cab, heading down Broadway, on his way to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker. The year was 1998 and Miramax’s poker movie Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, made a paltry $23 million at the box office. Fortunately for us, the movie was ahead of its time. Soon after the film’s release, the world of poker changed drastically. The invention of card cameras and the 2003 $2.5 million Main Event victory of everyman Chris Moneymaker, who cites Rounders as one of his biggest influences, made the game of poker boom in a huge way. In 1999, the year that Damon’s Rounders character would have played in the World Series Main Event, 393 people competed and the winner made $1 million. Seven years later, 8,773 competed in the same event with the winner taking home $12 million.

So though Rounders was a theatrical bust, the poker boom made it a home video smash, grossing $70 million in profit for Miramax. The film was recently on a list of catalog titles Miramax was hoping to sequelize along with The Weinstein Company and this week Harvey Weinstein himself, a producer of the original movie and former head of the studio that released it, said he’s still trying to get a sequel to Rounders made. Read More »

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