Paramount’s “Smile” debuted at a sizzling $22 million and easily topped the domestic box office. The horror film beat out the weekend’s other major re-release, Universal’s LGBTQ romantic comedy Bros, which debuted in fourth place with a meager $4.8 million.
Smile is considered one of the better original horror debuts of the year, beating out 20th Century Studios’ Barbarian ($10 million) and Sony’s The Invitation ($7 million). When the box office kicks off in October, the horror genre will continue to take center stage, with Universal’s Halloween Ends releasing in two weeks and hoping to capitalize on the thrill and chills excitement.
The box office for “Smile” is staggering considering that it cost Paramount a whopping $17 million to produce. The company used some clever marketing tactics this week, strategically placing paid actors behind home plate with huge, creepy smiles on their faces during televised major league baseball games. Social media users were quick to notice the unsettling fans wearing “Smile” t-shirts as cameras zoomed in on batsmen hitting the plate.
The horror film stars Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) as a therapist who is stricken with horrific smiling hallucinations after seeing one of her patients commit suicide. The cast also includes Kyle Gallner, Kal Penn, Jessie T. Usher, Caitlin Stasey, Rob Morgan and Robin Weigert.
“Bros” has a higher, albeit still modest, production budget of $22 million. The film received rave reviews but struggled to resonate with audiences. Its opening is about half of the $8 million to $10 million Universal has forecast for “Bros.” Commercially, Billy Eichner’s film may have fallen short, but it’s already in the record books: it’s the first gay rom-com to be released by a major studio, the first with an openly LGBTQ cast, and Eichner is the first openly gay man to ever write and star in a Hollywood film.
Eichner plays Bobby, a wily museum curator who has lost his fortune and falls in love with Luke Macfarlane’s Aaron, a muscular lawyer who could change everything for him. The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller with a cast that includes Guy Branum, Ts Madison, Dot-Marie Jones, Bowen Yang and Jim Rash.
There’s more to come…
https://variety.com/2022/film/box-office/smile-opening-bros-billy-eichner-box-office-1235388649/ Box Office: ‘Smile’ Surpasses ‘Bros’ With Impressive $22M Opening