With Universal pushing R-rated comedy Please Don’t Destroy from Aug. 18 to Peacock, another R-rated movie, Strays, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell & Jamie Foxx is back-filling that date. Originally, Strays was to open on June 9, a month from now.
The WGA Strike is partly the reason for Strays‘ movie; an original bawdy comedy like this requires all the late night TV talk show promotion it can get. Strays was about to start screening to the press and kick off a junket in the near future.
However, Universal has had great luck with R-rated comedies in August, read The 40 Year Old Virgin and 2019’s Good Boys ($21.4M opening, $83.1M domestic B.O.), and the fact that Strays is moving to Aug. 18 underscores the studio’s confidence in the film. In addition, Strays was in the middle of a tentpole whirlwind, going up against Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and playing into the heat seeking missile coming out of CinemaCon, Warner Bros./DC’s The Flash on June 16. Such branded fare has a marketing edge over an original title like Strays which requires more nurturing.
On its new date, Strays is bawdy counterprogramming to DC family movie, Blue Beetle.
Ferrell recently appeared at CinemaCon during Uni’s session two weeks ago and brought the house down at Caesars Palace Colosseum Theatre with a cute dog (who stars in the film) comedy routine.