Whether it’s a way to give a small movie a second chance in theaters or an opportunity to capitalize on a particularly quiet time at the box office, Sony is offering a surprise re-release to the Mark Wahlberg film “Father Stu” this December, where it will now open re-cut as a PG-13 version.
The new film is called “Father Stu: Reborn.” While the original film — released this April ahead of the Easter holiday — was dinged with an R-rating for “language throughout,” the new cut still features “language, an accident scene, sexual references, some violence and smoking.” A perfect evening for the whole family.
“Father Stu: Reborn” will open in theaters December 9, and it’s a choice time for Sony to take a chance on wringing a few extra dollars out of the story, as there are no other major studio releases debuting that weekend. It will open opposite Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light” and Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” Sony, in particular, has had some luck with theatrical re-releases, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which grossed another $9.3 million when it returned to theaters with new footage earlier this year.
Rosalind Ross wrote and directed “Father Stu,” which stars Wahlberg in the true story of Father Stuart Long, who went from an ex-con boxer to reinventing himself as a priest and finding redemption. The film also stars Mel Gibson, Jacki Weaver, and Teresa Ruiz.
Critics didn’t exactly warm to the film, saddling it with a 40 out of 100 score on Metacritic, but it performed respectfully in U.S. theaters, bringing in $20.8 million against a $4 million budget. That $20.8 million is surprisingly nearly 97% of its total global box office haul.
Wahlberg is also a producer on “Father Stu: Reborn,” and he previously said that he invested millions of dollars of his own money to get the film to the screen. The film’s producers are Stephen Levinson and Jordon Foss, and it was executive produced by Miky Lee, Colleen Camp, Patrick Peach, Tony Grazia, and Rosalind Ross.
Sony also announced Wednesday another date shift and title change, pushing “Love Again” (formerly called “It’s All Coming Back to Me”) starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, and Celine Dion, to a May 12, 2023 release date, back three months from a February slot.
You can check out a new teaser for “Father Stu: Reborn” here.