Decision to move comedy's release pays off

BERLIN — Edgar Wright’s cop spoof “Hot Fuzz” may seem like an unlikely date movie, but Universal’s late decision to move its U.K. release date forward one day to catch the Valentine’s Day business paid off in spectacular fashion.

On Feb. 14 alone, Working Title’s “Hot Fuzz” grossed $1.76 million on 500 screens.

By way of comparison, that’s 50% more than “Bridget Jones’ Diary” managed on its first day, and almost double the figure U was projecting internally for the first two days.

U and Working Title pushed the Valentine’s Day factor hard in its last spurt of advertising.

As a parody and homage to heavily male-skewed pics such as “Bad Boys II” and “Point Break,” “Hot Fuzz” is very much a boys’ movie, so the distrib targeted its posters saucily at wives and girlfriends, with the line: “This Valentine’s Day, give him what he wants: Hot Fuzz. Cop off in cinemas Feb. 14.”

The first day’s figure puts “Hot Fuzz” on course for an $8 million opening weekend.

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