December 16, 2019

‘Stuber’ Stalls, Dealing Another Setback to Comedies and Disney’s Fox

“Stuber” arrived in fourth place. It collected $8 million.

Distributed by Disney, which took over the Fox movie factory in March, “Stuber” had a marketing campaign that cost at least $30 million. Disney aggressively went after men, releasing trailers during WrestleMania and the N.B.A. Finals. Disney-owned ESPN was a marketing partner. The film’s crass tagline: “Saving the day takes a pair.”

“Stuber,” about an Uber driver named Stu who picks up a detective, received largely negative reviews, according to the criticism-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research, a movie consultancy, called it “an extremely weak entry.”

[Read our “Stuber” review.]

The previous Fox film released by Disney was the superhero movie “Dark Phoenix,” which collapsed under withering reviews last month. It cost an estimated $350 million to make and market worldwide and took in about $250 million, roughly half of which goes to theater owners.

Another Fox film, “Woman in the Window,” starring Amy Adams as an agoraphobic psychologist who witnesses a crime, was pulled from Disney’s 2019 release schedule last week and sent for reshoots. Instead of being released in October as planned, the movie will now arrive sometime next year.

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