All posts tagged: similar December sleeper

How Gen Z Turned an R-Rated Rom-Com Into a Sleeper Hit

How Gen Z Turned an R-Rated Rom-Com Into a Sleeper Hit

Anyone but You is that rarest of Hollywood phenomena—an old-fashioned word-of-mouth success. Brook Rushton / Sony Pictures January 23, 2024, 1:31 PM ET The film Anyone but You’s paltry $6 million opening over Christmas weekend seemingly confirmed a persistent assumption in Hollywood: Theatrical romantic comedies are a thing of the past. Once a pillar of the release calendar, rom-coms have largely been consigned to the smaller-scale world of streaming. They are seen as more difficult to sell overseas and distinguish at the box office (during that first weekend, Anyone but You lagged behind Wonka and Aquaman 2). Since its lackluster beginning, though, the movie has become that rarest of phenomena—an old-fashioned word-of-mouth hit. Initially, Sony’s play seemed downright bizarre: Why put an R-rated, sun-dappled rom-com up against family-friendly blockbusters in ice-cold December? The film’s advertising was even more inscrutable, with an unsettling teaser and another much-parodied promo highlighting the “frenemy” vibe between stars Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. And given its tepid reviews, the film seemed dead on arrival. Opening big is usually the only …