Though “Deadpool” was a hit, two other R-rated comedies that opened last year weren’t so successful – “The Nice Guys” with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, and “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” with Andy Samberg.
Several years ago, Samberg’s comedy “Hot Rod” came out and tanked – but later found a solid audience on home video. Speaking with USA Today, the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star says a similar thing is happening with “Popstar”:
“It definitely feels similar to [‘Hot Rod’ and ‘MacGruber’], in that it didn’t come out the way we were hoping in terms of the theater launch. But already, the word of mouth on it has been wonderful. I’ve noticed, which is the ultimate dream, that other people who work in comedy have gone out of their way to tell us that they like it.
I did something with J.J. Abrams the other week and he said he’s been watching it a ton with his son. That was awesome. I also bumped into Tony Hawk and he told me the same thing. I was like, ‘Well, those two alone – it was worth making it.’ Those are just two heroes, straight up. Those are the kinds of things you love taking back to the guys, Akiva [Schaffer] and Jorma [Taccone]. ‘Hey, guess who likes ‘Popstar’?
I think some of it is when you put them out; some of it is the way they’re represented in the PR stuff; some of it is just luck; some of it is it’s just not the kind of thing people want to go to the theater for, for whatever reason. This time, I feel we got really good reviews, which was unexpected, because we thought we were making such a silly comedy. It felt nice. … So I really couldn’t say. If I knew the answer, I would have put out movies that made more money.”
“Popstar” cost $20 million to make and made just $9.5 million at the box-office when it opened in late May last year, but critical reviews were solid.