Can Will Ferrell’s Strays Give R-Rated Comedy A Win At The Box Office? – /Film

The film is directed by Josh Greenbaum (“Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar”). It focuses on Reggie (Ferrell), a Border Terrier who is abandoned by his lowlife owner. Reggie is certain that his beloved owner would never leave him on purpose, but once Reggie meets a Boston Terrier named Bug (Foxx), a stray who loves his freedom, Reggie realizes he was in a toxic relationship. The cast also includes the likes of Will Forte, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Josh Gad, Harvey Guillén, Brett Gelman, Rob Riggle, Jamie Demetriou, and Sofia Vergara.

As far as historical comparisons go, I would look at something like 2016’s R-rated, animated “Sausage Party.” We were, again, looking at a movie in a medium historically associated with children’s movies, but it was made explicitly for adults and going for the comedy crowd. Against a $19 million budget, it made $140 million worldwide. “Strays” isn’t animated, but the whole talking dog thing is absolutely a kid’s movie concept with a raunchy adult spin.

In terms of more recent history, R-rated comedies have taken a beating. Billy Eichner’s wildly well-reviewed “Bros” tanked, taking in just $14.7 million worldwide last year. This year, we had both “The Machine” and “About My Father” flop on the same weekend. The only real outlier has been Jennifer Lawrence’s “No Hard Feelings,” which pulled in $85 million, though it carries a $45 million budget, so it’s certainly not an out-and-out win. Taking all of that into account, “Strays” has an uphill battle before it, but it also has the chance to show Hollywood that these movies can still work theatrically if all goes well.

“Strays” arrives in theaters on August 18, 2023.

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