The Future. Sony found that a little charm from its stars and a lot of love from TikTok could turn Anyone But You into the first rom-com hit on the big screen in a very long time. With many young actors saying that they would love to do rom-coms, the genre may come roaring back as a way to boost profits on a budget and mint a new generation of stars.
Despite earning only $8 million when it opened over Christmas weekend and getting middling critical reviews, Anyone But You has turned into a sleeper hit that could end up grossing $100 million on a $25 million budget.
- In its second week of release, ticket sales jumped 45.6% (the third-biggest increase ever for a wide release), and it earned more in its third weekend than it did during its opener (a first for a movie released over Christmas).
- The demand was driven by the social content of stars Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell that showed off their chemistry — some almost doubling the views of the actual trailer.
- And audiences recreating the end-credits dance sequence to Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 single “Unwritten” became a viral phenomenon (the film’s hashtag has clocked 1.2 billion views on TikTok), which was then boosted by Sweeney on her socials.
The film has become a bit of the envy of Hollywood, with one exec from a rival studio telling THR that the movie has “hit a nerve because of TikTok,” (which also fueled “Barbenheimer” and “GentleMinions”), while another said that the film bucked preconceived theories of modern rom-coms because “this age group, which is 18 to 24, [hasn’t] been offered these movies theatrically.”
It must be time for a rom-comnaissance.