The Rocky series is one of the most successful franchises in movie history, and it has been one of my personal favorites. Just ask my sons, who I drug to the theater on Christmas Day to watch Rocky Balboa.
Very few people know the story behind Rocky. Sylvester Stallone wanted to be an actor and make movies. He experienced rejection after rejection. They told him he was too ugly, and the only parts he could hope to get were playing a thug.
His friends told him to get a job. He knew that if he got a job, he would lose his hunger and dream to be an actor.
Stallone was broke and had no money, so he started writing scripts, but nothing worked.
In March 1975, he was watching the fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. Wepner is a club fighter who was known as the Bayonne Bleeder. The fight with Ali was the first fight in his career that he had the money to train full time. In the 9th round, Wepner knocked Ali down and was within seconds of the heavyweight championship.
Stallone was inspired and stayed up for 20 hours after the fight writing the script for Rocky. He tried to sell the script and kept getting rejection after rejection. Finally, he met a couple of guys who were interested in the script.
They offered him $125,000 for it.
Remember this was the 1970s, and he was broke. Stallone told them they had a deal based on him playing Rocky. Their response was no way.
Stallone knew what he wanted. They came back and offered him $250,000 and $325,000. Stallone turned them down. He said he was Rocky.
Finally, they came back offered him $35,000 plus points of the gross, and he played Rocky. The movie cost only a million dollars to produce and grossed over $200 million.
What lessons can you learn from Rocky Balboa? Let me know.
Contact me: [email protected]