By Phil Contrino
Based on a memoir by Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada was able to become one of the biggest hits of Summer 2006 with a domestic haul of $125 million. Prada was able to tap into female demographics across the board who were tired of the typical summer blockbusters.
Now, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is going to try and become The Devil Wears Prada for dudes.
Much like Prada was based on real experiences in the offices of Vogue, How to Lose is based on Toby Young's memoir about his brief stint at Vanity Fair. While Vogue became Runway in Prada and the magazine's tyrannical editor-in-cheif Anna Wintour became Miranda Priestly, How to Lose turns Vanity Fair head honcho Graydon Carter into Clayton Harding and the famous glossy has been re-dubbed Sharps.
Simon Pegg serves as the lead in How to Lose, but unlike Prada 's Anne Hathaway, who had success with the Princess Diaries films before Prada, he has not yet proven to be a reliable box office draw. Pegg's biggest box office success to date is Hot Fuzz, which grossed $23.6 million domestically. Most recently, Pegg's presence in Run, Fatboy, Run failed to bring in audiences and it grossed a mediocre $6 million.
“I don’t think that larger mainstream audiences are fully aware of him, and [ How to Lose ] will give him the exposure that will help his career," said Walt Borchers, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Movietickets.com.
Still, Borchers doesn't think that How to Lose will post the kind of numbers that Prada did.
“It will find an audience, but I doubt it will include the older demographics that helped boost the domestic total of Devil Wears Prada,” said Borchers.
Borchers stresses that a lot of mother/daughter pairs of all ages came out to support Prada, which was a result of the fact that Hathaway and Streep each have a very strong drawing power in different age groups.
How to Lose
will also face a lot of competition during its opening frame. Seven wide releases, including
Flash of Genius,
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Blindness, hit theatres this weekend. Plus,
opened with $29.2 million last weekend and it should still perform pretty well during its second frame.