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How 'The Upside' Beat the Box Office Bankruptcy Curse

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14.01.2019

The Upside,” a feel good film about the bond that forms between a wealthy quadriplegic and his caretaker, scored a surprising box office victory last weekend. The movie had to overcome a series of obstacles and setbacks before it topped charts.

In the weeks leading up to the drama’s release, star Kevin Hart had been the subject of countless headlines analyzing whether or not the comedian will host this year’s Oscars. The entertainer was offered the gig, but quickly stepped down after controversy sparked over homophobic jokes he made in the past. A little unwanted press, however, is nothing compared to the turmoil leading up to the movie’s theatrical debut.

Its rocky gestation to the big screen makes “The Upside,” which doubled industry expectations with a $19.5 million opening weekend, all the more impressive. An English-language remake of the French hit “Les Intouchables” was first announced in 2011, and it took around five years before Hart and his co-star Bryan Cranston were both officially attached to the project. The Weinstein Company was originally on board to distribute “The Upside.” It had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received indifferent reviews, but the movie was shelved after sexual assault allegations came to light against Harvey Weinstein. After the Weinstein Company went under, STX Entertainment and Lantern Entertainment saved the movie that was almost orphaned in bankruptcy.

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© Variety