Earlier this month I had opportunity to attend the press conference for Daddy’s Home where the comedian explained why the comedy was given this release date despite its scant chances at the box office. After giving his articulate reason, Ferrell couldn’t help but then add a joke too.
I think when we put the movie together, and started testing it, we saw how it was such an endearing and charming film, it just felt like, we just looked ahead, and Paramount looked at the schedule, and we thought that this would be great counter-programming for what's out there. There really wasn't anything else, and it seemed like a good opening for a family comedy around the holidays. And Star Wars is scared shitless.
Shortly after the press conference I had the chance to sit down with Sean Anders, the co-writer and director of Daddy’s Home, who admitted that he was immediately alarmed by Paramount’s decision to put the comedy out so soon after The Force Awakens. But he hopes that since The Force Awakens will be over a week old by the time Daddy’s Home is released people will be slightly fed up and will go to see the Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell outing instead. He said:
I told the studio, 'I hope you know what you're doing?' Because we're all just as excited about seeing Star Wars as much as everyone else. Hopefully by the 12th time that people have seen it, or if it is sold out, then they will come and see Daddy's Home.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will still claim top spot at the box office for a second week in a row, despite competition from The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Joy, Point Break, and Daddy’s Home. But, as Will Ferrell explained, there’s a good chance that since Daddy’s Home is the lightest and most family focused film of this quintet that it could still appeal to festive audiences looking for something different from The Force Awakens.
We’ll learn if what Daddy’s Home can muster from the sloppy seconds of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens audiences is a good enough box office haul when the comedy is released on Christmas Day.