Studio executives are feeling bullish about the film after recent audience test screenings gave it scores above 95% — indicating that “Flarsky” can perform as a major summer comedy. “Ocean’s 8” launched on the same weekend this year with $41.7 million and is on its way to a solid $138 million domestically.
“Flarsky” had been set to open Feb. 8. Rogen stars as Fred Flarsky, a down on his luck journalist, who through a string of comedic circumstances catches the attention of the world’s most powerful woman, Charlotte Field, (Theron). Much to the chagrin of her handlers, he becomes an important part of her inner circle in her globe-trotting journey to become the first female president of the United States.
Test audiences are comparing “Flarsky” to Rogen’s earlier work in “Knocked Up,” which made him a household name with $213 million worldwide in 2007.
“Flarsky” is directed by Jonathan Levine and re-teams Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver of Point Grey with Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president Nathan Kahane. They previously collaborated on “Neighbors,” “This Is the End” and “50/50.” Rogen’s comedies have seen major success in the summer with “Knocked Up,” “Neighbors” ($150 million), “Superbad” ($121 million), “This is the End” ($101 million), and “Sausage Party” ($98 million).
Variety reported on Aug. 9 that Lionsgate was in serious discussions with Rogen and Goldberg for a first-look deal through their Point Grey Pictures, covering film and television. Rogen and Goldberg have specialized in producing comedies — many starring Rogen — since launching Point Grey in 2011 with “50/50.”