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Box Office: 'The Upside' Surprises at No. 1 With $19.5 Million, 'Aquaman' Smashes $1 Billion

2 185 228
13.01.2019

In a surprise box office victory, STX’s “The Upside” doubled expectations with its $19.5 million debut, enough to defeat “Aquaman’s” three-week reign in North America.

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart co-star in “The Upside,” which marks the studio’s first No. 1 opening. It also ranks as STX Film’s second-best start behind “Bad Moms,” which launched with $23 million in 2016.

The box office victory comes as Hart has been in the headlines for whether or not he would host the Oscars. The comedian was tapped to emcee the industry’s biggest night, but stepped down when controversy sparked over homophobic jokes he made in the past.

What’s even more promising for STX is “The Upside,” based on the 2011 French hit “Les Intouchables,” was able to overcome its rocky path to the big screen. The Weinstein Company was originally on board to distribute the comedic drama about a quadriplegic billionaire who befriends an ex-convict hired to help him. It premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival but was shelved after sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein came to light. STX and Lantern Capital then purchased the rights and worked with director Neil Burger to recut the movie from an R rating to PG-13 in hopes that would make “The Upside” more accessible for a broader audience.

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© Variety