On paper, it sounds like a crazy idea, opening a movie against “Star Wars.” But this holiday season showed it can be done. Universal decided to gamble on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler‘s comedy “Sisters,” having it debut the same weekend as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The result? The counter-programming move worked, with the comedy quietly going on to bank over $100 million worldwide, and showing some impressive legs in its first couple weeks of release (in fact, it had nearly zero percent audience dropoff from week one to week two). So, this winter, Warner Bros. is going to give it a try.
The studio has decided to open the Will Smith-starring “Collateral Beauty” on December 16th, the same day as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Gasp! The recently added Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris are co-starring in the David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Marley & Me“)-directed movie that follows a New York City ad executive who slips into depression following a tragedy and embarks on an unconventional method to turn his life around. I dunno, kinda sounds like the upcoming “Demolition” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, but we’ll see.
Either way, it’s a vote of confidence from Warner Bros. who, in making this movie, have pushed back their adaptation of “Chicken Soup For The Soul” (really), that was previously on that date, though they promise they will release it in 2017. [THR]