R-rated food toon eats up record $45m in US

NICE BUNS: Sony's raunchy comedy, starring Hayek (pictured), is about produce meeting their doom in the kitchen. The US$19 million flick holds the record for the largest August opening for an animated film.


    Aug 17, 2016

    R-rated food toon eats up record $45m in US


    SAUSAGE Party scored at the American box office over the weekend, debuting to a meaty US$33.6 million (S$45 million) and providing a much-needed win for struggling Sony Pictures.

    In a summer dominated by spin-offs and reboots, the story of a gang of grocery items grappling with the dangers of the kitchen was an antidote to sequelitis and a reminder of the power of original ideas.

    "It was the 'something different' that adult audiences have been craving," said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.

    "When comedy pushes the envelope, that's when it works best."

    In the case of Sausage Party, which liberally deploys sex jokes and four-letter words, it is a foul-mouthed affair that more than earns its R rating.

    The US$19 million animated comedy was also backed by Annapurna Pictures, maker of The Master and American Hustle.

    Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and Salma Hayek are among the vocal cast members.

    The studio released Sausage Party in 3,103 locations.

    It now holds the record for the largest August opening for an animated film.

    "When you have something so fresh, it just stands out to audiences," said Rory Bruer, Sony's distribution chief.

    It is good news for Sony which has had a bruising period at the multiplexes.

    Flops such as Ghostbusters, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and The 5th Wave have outweighed hits such as The Shallows and The Angry Birds Movie.

    It gives Sony momentum as it tries to put its recent bad run behind it and prepares for an autumn and winter that will bring the debuts of The Magnificent Seven with Denzel Washington and Passengers with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.