Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date
February 10, 2010
Release Date: Nov. 5 Studio: Warner Brothers Genre: Comedy Director:Todd Phillips Writer: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel Cast:Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, Jamie Foxx, Alan Arkin, RZA Summary: A high-strung father-to-be (Downey Jr.) is forced to hitch a ride with a college slacker (Galifianakis) on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time.
Analysis: Before last year, most of Todd Phillips' career had been spent directing successful juvenile comedies like Road Trip ($68.5 million), Old School ($75.6 million) and Starsky & Hutch ($88.2 million). Then Phillips directed The Hangover, a movie that used a sharp script and strong cast to push the boundaries of a classic "What happened last night?" scenario. It opened to a strong $45 million last June and then kept filling seats all summer. When The Hangover's box office run finally came to an end in December, it had amassed $277.3 million, easily breaking the previous gross record for an R-rated comedy.
Before making The Hangover 2 (which, of course, is in the works), Phillips has reunited with Hangover actor Zach Galifianakis for the road trip comedy Due Date. Co-starring with Galifianakis is Robert Downey, Jr., an actor whose appeal has rapidly expanded in recent years thanks to the success of Iron Man, Tropic Thunder and Sherlock Holmes. Warner Brothers (the studio behind both The Hangover and Sherlock Holmes) will undoubtedly focus their Due Date marketing campaign on the combination of Downey Jr., Galifiankis and Phillips.
Besides its comedic pedigree, Due Date also is conveniently scheduled in November, a month completely free of any other high profile comedies. This should put the movie in a position to have strong earnings through Thanksgiving and even in to the Christmas season. While it would be foolish to expect numbers in The Hangover's league, Due Date has a great shot at being a solid success.