How Anyone But You Broke The Box Office Mold: A Cinephile’s Investigation

“Anyone But You” was written on spec by Ilana Wolpert during the pandemic. Wolpert eventually crossed paths with “Euphoria” breakout star Sydney Sweeney, who hopped on board as a producer. From there, things fell into place, including Glen Powell’s casting. In the pic, Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell) find themselves at a wedding in Australia. Despite despising each other, circumstances force the attractive pair to pretend to date. And from there, an instant classic rom-com was born. 

Looper’s sister site /Film was mixed on the movie, giving it a 6/10 — a sentiment that most critics agree with as signaled by its 51% Rotten Tomatoes rating. But audiences are eating this one up with glee. It has a decent B+ CinemaScore, close enough to the A- score last year’s breakout rom-com hit “Ticket to Paradise” received. While reviews are mixed, this film is a box-office hit stateside, growing with each weekend. In its third weekend, the pic had a whopping 11% uptick. 

So, what explains the success? For starters, “Anyone But You” is more than just counter-programming against safe blockbusters like “Aquaman 2” and “Wonka” — it’s a throwback to the good ‘ol days of 2000s romcoms, proving that audiences, at least domestically, want more than just the generic CGI sludge and franchise reboots we’ve been digesting over the last decade. And while we’ll dive into how “Anyone But You” is a phenomenon, receipts from pics like Jennifer Lawrence’s “No Hard Feelings” ($83 million worldwide) and “A Man Called Otto” ($108 million worldwide) prove that audiences aren’t done with the mid-budget, feel-good formula that dominated two decades ago.

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