Playing with Fire (2019 film)

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Playing with Fire
Playing With Fire Movie HD Poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Fickman
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Dan Ewen
  • Matt Lieberman
Story byDan Ewen
Music byNathan Wang
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byElísabet Ronaldsdóttir
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 8, 2019 (2019-11-08) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$29.9 million[1]
Box office$18.9 million[1]

Playing with Fire is a 2019 American family comedy film directed by Andy Fickman from a screenplay by Dan Ewen and Matt Lieberman. The film stars John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haysbert, and Judy Greer, and follows a group of firemen who must watch over three children who have been separated from their parents following an accident.

The film was theatrically released in the United States on November 8, 2019, by Paramount Pictures. It received negative reviews from critics and has grossed $18 million worldwide.


A group of rugged wildland firefighters meet their match when they rescue a trio of rambunctious children.[2]



The film was announced in October 2018 when John Cena was cast to star in the film.[3] Andy Fickman was hired to direct the next month.[4]

By January 2019, Brianna Hildebrand, Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, Edoardo Carfora, Christian Convery, and John Leguizamo joined the cast.[5][6][7] Rob Gronkowski was offered a role in the film but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.[8]

Filming began on February 4, 2019, in Burnaby, British Columbia, and concluded on March 29.[9]


The film was originally set to be released on March 20, 2020, but it was later moved up to November 8, 2019, taking over Sonic the Hedgehog's original release date.[10][11]


Box office[edit]

As of November 12, 2019, Playing with Fire has grossed $16 million in the United States and Canada, and $2.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $18.9 million.[1]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Midway, Doctor Sleep and Last Christmas, and was projected to gross $7–10 million from 3,125 theaters in its opening weekend.[12] It made $3.6 million on its first day, including $500,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $12.8 million, finishing third at the box office.[13]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 22% based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10.[14] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 24 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 2.5 out of 5 stars.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Playing with Fire (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (February 16, 2018). "Paramount Players to Develop Family Comedy 'Playing With Fire' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  3. ^ John Cena to Star in ‘Playing With Fire’ for Paramount Players (EXCLUSIVE)
  4. ^ Andy Fickman Signs on to Direct ‘Playing With Fire’ Starring John Cena (EXCLUSIVE)
  5. ^ 'Deadpool' Actress Brianna Hildebrand Joins John Cena in 'Playing With Fire' (Exclusive)
  6. ^ Judy Greer Joins Paramount Players’ ‘Playing With Fire’ Opposite John Cena
  7. ^ Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo Joining John Cena in 'Playing with Fire' (Exclusive)
  8. ^ For Rob Gronkowski, Hollywood Awaits. Can He Make It There?
  9. ^ Filming in Vancouver: Katie Holmes, John Cena, A Million Little Things, and more
  10. ^ Paramount Dates ‘Crawl’ & ‘Playing With Fire’, Moves ‘Loud House’ Off Schedule
  11. ^ ‘A Quiet Place 2’ Going Earlier In 2020, ‘Playing With Fire’ Takes Over ‘Sonic’s November Spot: Paramount Release Date Changes
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 6, 2019). "'Doctor Sleep' Eyes $25M-$30M Box Office Start, Will Turn Out Lights On 'Terminator: Dark Fate'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  13. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 10, 2019). "How 'Doctor Sleep' Went Into A Coma At The B.O. With Dreary $14M+ Opening, Following Surprise $17M+ Attack By 'Midway' – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Playing with Fire (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  15. ^ "Playing with Fire (2019) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 8, 2019.

External links[edit]