Anyone But You Broke An Impressive 8-Year Rom-Com Record (& It’s Great News For The Genre)

Summary

  • Anyone But You is a surprise box office hit in the rom-com genre, surpassing $100 million worldwide, a feat not achieved by an R-rated rom-com in 8 years.
  • The film’s success is impressive considering the current saturated market and competition with Oscar contenders, as well as the dominance of streaming platforms.
  • Sydney Sweeney’s star power and the return to the classic rom-com genre are contributing factors to the film’s popularity, potentially reigniting interest in the genre.


The popular romantic comedy movie Anyone But You broke an impressive box office record that was nearly in existence for a decade. After being released on December 22, 2023, Anyone But You faced mixed reviews from critics and audience members alike but quickly became one of the most profitable movies in January 2024. The romantic comedy features an idyllic leading duo Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney whose chemistry was seemingly built months before the release of the film through gossip outlets and behind-the-scenes photos.

Anyone But You has quietly emerged as a sleeper box office hit, which is a pleasant surprise for the modern rom-com genre at large. Anyone But You’s success might have been boosted by a lackluster rollout of January theatrical releases highlighted by the Mean Girls Broadway adaptation, which had an opening weekend total of roughly $28.5 million domestically. After generating just over $6 million in its opening weekend, Anyone But You has soared across a $100 million worldwide total, the first time that an R-rated rom-com has done so in eight years.

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The last film of its kind to accomplish this feat was 2016’s Bridget Jones’s Baby

Bridget Jones's Baby - Renée Zellweger

Before Anyone But You, the last romantic comedy to make more than $100 million at the worldwide box office was the 2016 movie Bridget Jones’s Baby. In a way, Anyone But You’s box office success is arguably more impressive than that of Bridget Jones’s Baby for a number of reasons. Anyone But You was based on an original screenplay by Ilana Wolpert and Will Gluck, while Bridget Jones’s Baby already had an established audience based on two previous franchise installments, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).

Anyone But You’s $100 million box office success is also more impressive given the sheer volume of other viewing options nowadays and the lack of incentive to go to the theater in the age of streaming platform dominance. Bridget Jones’s Baby also had the added benefit of a mid-September theatrical release date versus Anyone But You’s late December one, which is currently saturated in a slow-moving January market competing with Oscar contenders such as Poor Things, American Fiction, and The Holdovers.

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Why Anyone But You Is Winning Big At The Box Office

Syndey Sweeney’s social media influence is playing a part

The easy answer for why Anyone But You is outperforming at the box office is because of Sydney Sweeney’s star power, but it might also be the correct one. Since rising to stardom through performances in notable works such as HBO’s bold series Euphoria and generating further interest as a star of the upcoming film Madame Web, Sweeney has become a major celebrity figure. Sweeney currently has 16.7 million followers on Instagram and generates a wide margin of traffic on popular social media apps. In fact, the opening sequence of Anyone But You has become a viral trend on TikTok.

Glen Powell also certainly brings a level of star power to Anyone But You’s overall appeal, having starred in the hugely successful 2022 blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick. The film is also being celebrated for its return to form of the classic romantic comedy genre, a category of Hollywood productions that have notably been in short supply in recent years. The popularity of 2023’s No Hard Feelings starring Jennifer Lawrence has also shown an uptick of interest in more “classic” types of comedy movies, hinting that Anyone But You has tapped into a greater demand for the rom-com genre.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s No Hard Feelings also helped the genre

Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence) and Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) have a towel around them, while they sit at the beach in No Hard Feelings.

The outlier success of Anyone But You could be specific to the appeal of Powell and Sweeney’s onscreen pairing, or it could be indicative of a resurgence in general interest in the romantic comedy genre. There haven’t been a ton of hugely successful rom-coms in recent years, although 2023’s Rye Lane was a great example of a modern rom-com done right despite it having a relatively uninspired box office total of just more than $1.5 million. Anyone But You could ultimately inspire studios other than Sony to revise their approach and outlooks on modern rom-coms.

Anyone But You could also establish an instant classic type of onscreen pairing for Powell and Sweeney in future movies, regardless of genre. Powell has already demonstrated his abilities in the genre with the 2018 rom-com Set It Up alongside Zoey Deutch and will star in the highly anticipated action movie Hit Man from director Richard Linklater. Sweeney is attached to many projects following the success of Anyone But You and will likely continue to expand her already large follower base.

Anyone But You Movie Poster

Anyone But You

Anyone But You is a romantic comedy by director Will Gluck starring Sydney Sweeny and Glen Powell. Sweeny and Powell star as Bea and Ben, two strangers with an incredible first date that goes sour following one incident at the tail end. Thinking the worst is behind them, the two are roped into a destination wedding in Sydney, Australia, where they’ll have to pretend to be a couple despite absolutely hating each other.

Release Date
December 22, 2023

Director
Will Gluck

Cast
Sydney Sweeney , Glen Powell , Alexandra Shipp , GaTa , Hadley Robinson , Michelle Hurd , Dermot Mulroney , Darren Barnet , Rachel Griffiths

Writers
Will Gluck , Ilana Wolpert

Story By
523843

Studio(s)
Columbia Pictures , Roth/Kirschenbaum Films , Fifty-Fifty Films , Olive Bridge

Distributor(s)
Sony Pictures Releasing

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