Romantic Comedy “Anyone but You” Defies Expectations with Box Office Success

Sydney, Australia – Despite a slow start at the box office, the romantic comedy film “Anyone but You” has emerged as a surprise hit, grossing over $80 million worldwide since its release on Christmas week. This success has demonstrated that there is still a demand for big studio rom-coms and could potentially signal a comeback for the genre.

Directed by Will Gluck, “Anyone but You” initially struggled to attract audiences, earning only $6 million domestically during its opening weekend, which was far below its $25 million production cost. However, instead of giving up on the film, Sony decided to invest in its success and took advantage of the power of word of mouth.

The movie gained traction through an explosion of interest on TikTok, which led to increased buzz and a boost in ticket sales. In its second weekend, “Anyone but You” earned $8.7 million, even with the same number of theaters as its opening weekend. It continued to perform well in subsequent weeks, culminating in a rare achievement for a movie released during the Christmas holiday season – taking first place at the box office in its fourth week.

To date, “Anyone but You” has exceeded expectations, bringing in more than three times its budget and proving that there is still an audience for studio-produced romantic comedies. The film’s success has reignited discussions about the future of the genre, especially in light of superhero fatigue that many audiences are experiencing.

Romantic comedies used to be a staple of the studio system, with beloved films like “Pretty Woman” and “Sleepless in Seattle” winning over audiences in the 1990s. However, the rise of the superhero genre in the 2010s led to a decline in rom-coms, as studios focused their efforts on big-budget action films.

Yet, the emergence of streaming platforms in recent years provided a new avenue for rom-coms to thrive. Netflix’s “Set It Up” in 2018, for example, attracted a significant following and demonstrated the potential of the genre in the streaming era. However, these streaming-made rom-coms often felt different than their studio counterparts, lacking the quality and production value that audiences had come to expect.

“Anyone but You” stands out as a return to the traditional rom-com formula, offering stunning visuals and a picturesque setting in Australia. The film’s success can be attributed to its commitment to delivering a theatrical experience, as lead actor Glen Powell explained: “We are taking a swing here to bring back the big theatrical rom-com. We really thought about the audience at every turn and made sure their dollar was well spent.”

The triumph of “Anyone but You” raises the question of whether studios will start to invest more in romantic comedies. Recent successes like Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s “The Lost City” and George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ “Ticket to Paradise” demonstrate that there is still an appetite for the genre. With superhero fatigue becoming more prevalent, now could be the perfect time for rom-coms to make a comeback.

Rejuvenating the genre will require studios to greenlight more rom-com projects and focus on both quantity and quality. According to John Fithian, former head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, making enough good rom-com films and marketing them well is key to reestablishing the genre’s popularity. The groundwork for a rom-com resurgence has already been laid by Sony, which backed “No Hard Feelings” and “Anyone but You” and has found success with these films.

As audiences adapt to the offerings available to them, there is hope that studios will recognize the value of movies like “Anyone but You” and embrace a more patient, slow-burn release strategy. The success of this film is a promising sign that romantic comedies still have the potential to captivate audiences and generate significant revenue for studios.

In conclusion, the unexpected success of “Anyone but You” has reignited discussions about the future of rom-coms in the film industry. With the right combination of quality, marketing, and audience demand, romantic comedies could stage a comeback, providing a refreshing alternative to superhero-dominated blockbusters.