The success of ‘Ticket to Paradise’ could signal a romantic comedy ‘renaissance’

Could George Clooney and Julia Robert’s “Ticket to Paradise” bring back the rom-com box office?

“If ‘Ticket to Paradise’ proves as successful as it could be, it would yield this year alone – in a very difficult year to do so – two hit romantic comedies,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst from Box Office Pro, to Yahoo. Finance, referring to the surprise success of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum “The Lost City,” which earned $190 million worldwide, including more than $105 million from the domestic box office.

“It could signal a bit of a revival of the genre in the years to come,” Robbins speculated.

“Ticket to Paradise” has already earned nearly $75 million in 75 international markets – a successful debut for the low-budget Universal film.

‘Ticket to Paradise’ seeks to capture audiences at the box office (Courtesy Universal)

“Given the quality of its international performances, it relieves some of the pressure of its domestic debut,” Robbins said, estimating the film will see ticket sales open on weekends between low and mid. of adolescence.

The analyst warned that the film could be slower as it will compete directly with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ‘Black Adam’, which is widely expected to earn a debut of over $60 million, according to industry estimates. . Robbins also pointed out that the film’s key demographic, adults 35 and older, don’t typically rush to the theater on opening weekend.

“There may be room for surprise, but I’m definitely looking at that stamina and word-of-mouth potential to drive ‘Ticket to Paradise’ into November and potentially even into the holidays,” Robbins said.

Resurgence of the rom-com?

The romantic comedy has taken a back seat over the past decade as other genres, from Oscar-nominated dramas to franchise superhero movies, surge to the fore.

Superhero movies, in particular, have overlapped with other genres, Robbins previously explained, especially comedies since Marvel movies tend to have a significant amount of comic relief.

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, which opens in domestic markets on November 11, may continue this trend, as it is currently expected to deliver a whopping $175 million debutaccording to early data from NRG.

As a result, the romantic comedy has essentially faded away as audiences expect more from the theater.

“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (Courtesy of Paramount/Everett Collection)

According to box office analytics platform EntTelligence, romantic comedy never attracted the same audiences as superhero or action movies, even in its heyday.

The romantic comedy classic ‘When Harry Met Sally’, which debuted in 1989, ranked only 11th that year with an estimated 19.5 million viewers.

The Meg Ryan-led film lagged franchise favorites like Tim Burton’s “Batman” (52 million), “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (42.3 million), “Lethal Weapon 2” (30, 8 million), “Ghostbusters II” (23.5 million) and “Back to the Future II” (19.6 million) among others.

In total, viewers of “When Harry Met Sally” represented only 7.6% of the attendance of the best films in 1989.

Sometimes the formula becomes too stereotyped…Shawn Robbins, Chief Box Office Pro Analyst

Robbins explained that there are a few factors that can make rom-coms successful at the box office, including: star power, a likeable premise, and originality are the most important elements.

“Sometimes the formula becomes too formulaic,” the analyst explained. “There’s a good balance to achieve something familiar, but also something a bit new. The rom-com genre had a particularly difficult time out of any genre to achieve that.”

CIRCA 1989: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal pose for the film

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal pose for the film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ circa 1989. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Coupled with overcrowded streaming platforms and an ultra-competitive theatrical landscape, studios today are looking for new ways to make the genre unique, Robbins said.

“It’s what audiences want, but there always has to be that hook – whether it’s a star people love or just a concept people love,” he continued. “Preferably both.

At this point, all is not lost for the beloved romantic comedy, which has seen sporadic wins.

A modern romantic comedy hit story is “Crazy Rich Asians,” which opened in 2018 above box office estimates at $26.5 million before earning nearly $175 million domestically.

Robbins highlighted the film’s cultural appeal, saying it offered something new and diverse to an underserved audience.

“Examples like this show the desire for a resurgent era of romantic comedy,” he said.

Alexandra is a senior media and entertainment reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at

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