Intouchables Remake The Upside is a Surprise Smash Hit!
It was the film that for a while seemed impossible to make. The cast and crew over at Lantern Productions had a daunting task ahead of them: to remake the absolute smash hit that knocked France and the world over off their feet.
Obstacles popped up from all angles, from the shocking Weinstein debacle, which delayed a release date for nearly two years, to Kevin Hart's controversy involving some homophobic tweets, to arguments debating the tact of casting able-bodied actors to play paraplegic characters, to the obvious: coming even somewhat close to the original. Whew.
But with all of this going against it, this gem of a heartfelt comedy did just fine. It surprised everyone, beating Aquaman on its first two weekends at the box office, took in $20 million over opening weekend, and is poised to become STX's first #1 box office hit this year.
Clever strategies undoubtedly supported the success of The Upside. For example, instead of opening over MLK weekend, an easily popular weekend for Kevin Hart, Lantern stayed out of Glass's way and achieved #1 at the box office on their own terms.
With an expert knowledge of the demographics of Kevin Hart fans, African Americans and women, distributors STXfilms advertised on mommy blogs and with sports fan influencers, focusing on the Knicks, 76ers, Wizards, and Tony Hawk, according to Deadline. According to the first numbers, the film did especially well in the West, the South, and in the Midwest, while Texas and Georgia drew particulary big numbers.
With predictions for The Upside to continue its #2 spot, it seems some of the magic of Les Intouchables has filtered into the behind the scenes story that has prevailed, no matter the hardship.