The Upside Has Made A Surprising Amount Of Money

Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston in The Upside

The Upside just passed the $100 million milestone at the domestic box office. It's only the second 2019 film to do that so far, after Glass. Did you see that coming? If so, good for you, 'cause no one else did.

Apparently the Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart drama wasn't expected to open to more than $10 million in its January release. But it opened to twice that -- becoming the first movie to topple Aquaman for #1 on the box office chart -- and it has kept quietly making money week after week.

As of Saturday, March 2, The Upside has made $111,588,620 worldwide, off a reported production budget of $37.5 million (per Box Office Mojo).

The Upside overcame many obstacles to get to this point.

As The Hollywood Reporter noted, The Upside was one of the final movies Harvey Weinstein made before his career blew up in the fall of 2017. The Upside also came out while Kevin Hart was named 2019 Oscars host, then came under fire for past comments seen as homophobic. Bryan Cranston even fielded some criticism for playing a disabled character. Things didn't look that great for the movie, at least behind-the-scenes.

The Upside was not a hit with critics either, only earning a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However -- like so many films in the past year -- The Upside got a very different reaction from moviegoers. It currently has an 86% Audience Score on RT.

Apparently the box office also got an assist from older moviegoers. More than 10 percent of ticket buyers on The Upside's opening weekend were over 55. That's somewhat similar to The Mule, which also made more money than expected, thanks in part to older moviegoers. Take that, youth-obsessed Hollywood!

Lantern Entertainment inherited the film when it bought the assets of The Weinstein Co., and THR's sources estimate Lantern could see a return of $40M-$50M -- before talent participation -- from the box office, home entertainment, and other revenue sources. STXfilms distributed and co-marketed the film, which made enough to recoup the $25M-$35M spent on promotion, and STX may pick up about $12M-$14M from additional percentage points tied to box office milestones.

These are the surprise success stories studios hope for -- instead of biting their nails for Alita: Battle Angel, or just counting their losses for films like Mortal Engines and Replicas.

This weekend, the first in March, could see a tighter box office race than initially expected. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World may repeat at #1, or the final Madea film could pull out a surprise victory. As we've seen, box office analysts are often wrong about how much they think films will make.

Check out CinemaBlend's weekend box office rundown Sunday for the full report, and keep up with everything heading to theaters this year with our handy 2019 movie schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.