Richard Gere and the ‘Legs’ of ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’

by Julie Tustin, Paramount Pictures

Richard Gere was the guest of honor at a recent screening of An Officer and a Gentleman at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in New York City, as part of a celebration for Paramount’s Centennial and the film’s 30th Anniversary. The evening was hosted by Dave Karger, senior writer, Entertainment Weekly and, and included a special, post-screening conversation with the actor.

“I haven’t seen this film since we made it,” Gere said. “To watch it here this evening with my wife Carey is a very emotional experience.”

The film, which has long been known as a classic crowd-pleaser, had the mathematics of its success broken down by movie history guru, Karger. He pointed out that the true test of a movie’s “legs” is how many times over it grosses what it made in its opening weekend. The higher the number, the better it hangs on week after week. For example, The Twilight Saga: New Moon made only two times what it made in its opening weekend, earning a 2. For Titanic, generally considered the gold standard for a movie with legs, that number is 20.

For An Officer and a Gentleman, that number jumps to 25, as the film ultimately grossed 25 times what it made in its opening weekend, which is almost unheard of and signals a true word-of-mouth phenomenon, according to Karger.

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