A Forgotten Jamie Foxx Box Office Bomb Is Blowing up on Max


  • Jamie Foxx’s film
    found new life on Max, showcasing the power of streaming platforms for overlooked films.
  • Sleepless
    , a box-office flop, failed to capture the suspense of its original French counterpart due to a misguided approach and vast setting.
  • Jamie Foxx has continued to find success through streaming, notably on Netflix, becoming one of the platform’s biggest stars in recent years.

While Jamie Foxx has starred in several successful films that have enjoyed enduring popularity in their post-theatrical lives, like Collateral and Ray, Foxx’s most currently popular film, the 2017 action thriller Sleepless, was a commercial and critical failure at the time of its initial release. The renewed popularity of Sleepless, which became one of the most viewed films on the Max streaming service, is the latest example of how the streaming realm has become a resurrection zone for initially unappreciated films with big-name stars.

Like the 2006 Western film Seraphim Falls and the 2017 action thriller film American Assassin, box-office failures that experienced a streaming revival on Netflix, the streaming popularity of Sleepless owes to the relative anonymity with which it debuted on the Max platform, where most viewers are doubtlessly unaware of the film’s previous theatrical existence. The streaming popularity of Sleepless is also reflective of the changed state of Foxx’s career, in which he has, in recent years, followed in the footsteps of Seraphim Falls stars Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson by becoming a Netflix superstar.

Sleepless Is a Dismal Remake of a Great French Thriller


Release Date
January 12, 2017

Baran Bo Odar


In Sleepless, Jamie Foxx plays Vincent Downs, an undercover Las Vegas police officer who, as the film opens, joins forces with his crooked partner, Cass, to rob a shipment of cocaine from Stanley Rubino, a ruthless businessman who subsequently kidnaps Vincent’s teenage son, whom Rubino threatens to kill unless he returns the cocaine.

Foxx is joined in the film by Michelle Monaghan, who plays Jennifer Bryant, an internal affairs investigator who has long been suspicious of Vincent and his partner. After Vincent retrieves the cocaine from Cass, he brings the cocaine to Rubino’s casino, where he hides the cocaine in a ventilation shaft in advance of negotiating his son’s freedom. However, Bryant retrieves the cocaine and hides it in a nearby women’s locker room.


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Sleepless is a remake of the acclaimed 2011 French thriller film Sleepless Night, in which Vincent is presented as a genuinely corrupt cop whose approach to stealing the cocaine and then rescuing his kidnapped son is based on the character’s inherent manic desperation and propensity for impulsive improvisation, while Foxx’s considerably less morally ambiguous Vincent acts with planning and premeditation. This makes Sleepless seem entirely predictable.

Sleepless Night generates a considerable amount of suspense and tension through the film’s primary setting, the drug dealer’s nightclub, where Vincent encounters a maze of bars, rooms, and stages amid his intense 24-hour quest to find his kidnapped son. In contrast, the remake’s vast casino setting has too many points of entry and escape for the film to be able to convincingly establish the claustrophobic, constrictive feeling and tone that the story demands. This highlights the remake’s overall misguided approach, in which Sleepless, in an obvious attempt to be bigger than the fast-paced Sleepless Night, provides its characters with too much space and time to simply stand around and waste time.

Sleepless Is One of Jamie Foxx’s Biggest Box-Office Flops

With a troubled production, a delayed theatrical release, and a lackluster marketing campaign, the box-office and critical failure of Sleepless was hardly surprising, especially since the movie, which was filmed in 2015, was released theatrically on January 13, 2017, amid Hollywood’s post-holiday dumping season.

In its opening weekend of release, Sleepless, which had a production cost of $30 million, was projected to gross approximately $10 million at the domestic box office. The film, which was released alongside Monster Trucks and The Bye Bye Man, grossed approximately $8.3 million in its opening weekend and finished eighth for the weekend, behind Monster Trucks and ahead of Underworld: Blood Wars.


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In its second weekend, Sleepless finished ninth on the domestic chart with a gross of approximately $3.4 million, a drop of nearly 60% from its opening weekend. The film finished its theatrical run with a domestic total of approximately $20.8 million and a worldwide total of nearly $33 million. Among Jamie Foxx’s starring film vehicles since 2004, Sleepless ranks as Foxx’s lowest-grossing wide-release film.

Moreover, Sleepless, which received negative critical reviews at the time of its theatrical release, presently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 25%, compared to the 97% score of Sleepless Night. Within the entirety of Foxx’s film career, the 25% score only ranks ahead of the 2000 comedy Held Up, the 2005 thriller Stealth, and the 2010 romantic comedy film Valentine’s Day.

Foxx Is One of Netflix’s Biggest Stars

Before Sleepless experienced a revival through Max, the film was rediscovered on Netflix. It shot up to the top of the Netflix charts in 2020 when Jamie Foxx made his starring debut on the platform with the 2020 science-fiction action film Project Power. Following Project Power, Foxx starred for Netflix in the 2022 action comedy horror film Day Shift, the 2023 comedy mystery film They Cloned Tyrone, and the upcoming action comedy film Back in Action, which is set to be released by Netflix on November 15, 2024.

The streaming popularity of Sleepless is a reminder that Foxx hasn’t had a major commercial and critical success as a star since Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 Western film Django Unchained, for which Foxx’s titular performance was somewhat overshadowed by co-star Christoph Waltz’s Oscar-winning performance as Dr. King Schultz. Indeed, since the 2017 release of Sleepless, the now 56-year-old Foxx has probably been best known to most audiences as the host of the musical game show Beat Shazam, which is set to begin its seventh season on Fox. Sleepless is streaming now on Max.