How Paramount is selling a comedy about corporate greed and the problem of going into business with your friends.
Like A Boss stars Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne as Mia and Mel, respectively. The two women are long-time friends who have gone into business together, running a beauty company. The two partners compliment each other nicely, one more impulsive and creative the other more business-like and serious.
When their company falls on hard times an angel seems to appear in the form of high-profile CEO Claire Luna (Salma Hayek). She offers to throw the two the financial lifeline they desperately need. It quickly becomes clear that lifeline is more like a noose and Mia and Mel have to figure out how to get control back and save their livelihood.
Even if it’s not enough to win the weekend, the $15-20 million the movie is estimated to bring in over its opening weekend could make it the top grossing of this week’s new releases. That’s a testament to the campaign Paramount has run highlighting the comedic skills of the leads.
“The world of beauty is about to get ugly” we’re told on the first poster (by marketing agency BLT Communications), released in September. That copy, combined with the big perfume bottle that acts as the focal point of the design, establishes what world the story takes place in and what kind of hijinks are in store. It’s a tagline that could work equally well for either a comedy or drama, though, so it remains a bit vague on the movie’s tone.
The second poster, released in December, features the same tagline but this time has all three of the main characters on it, with Mel and Mia flanking Claire, who is clearly the mature one in charge of the situation.
As the first trailer from September starts we’re immediately shown how close Mel and Mia are, discussing all sorts of topics and deep in each other’s lives. The independent beauty retail shop they own together, we learn, is deeply in debt. To the rescue (it appears) comes Claire, but her business-saving investment comes with strings attached and some heavy involvement from her, none of which goes over well with the longtime friends. They set out to get control of their business back, with hilarious results.
A second “NSFW” trailer debuted in early December that presents the same basic story and character attributes, just with more swearing, sexual humor and drug use.
Online and Social
There’s not a lot of material on the film’s official website, which is focused on selling tickets, including for a “Girls Night Out” early screening event being held at select theaters tonight, a few days before the official opening.
Advertising and Promotions
The stars appeared in a short “Friendsgiving” themed TV spot that debuted toward the end of November.
Fandango debuted an exclusive clip showing the scene where Mel and Mia have to fire their assistant to comedic effect.
Online ads like the one here used elements of the key art showing the three leads to drive traffic to the ticket-selling website.
TV spots like this began running in the last couple weeks, with some short versions being used as pre-roll on YouTube and in other social ad units. They highlight the key comedic sequences from the movie, using footage from the trailers.
The stars showed up for a “pink carpet” premiere screening in New York City earlier this week.
Media and Press
There wasn’t a whole lot of pre-release press activity. Haddish and Byrne did make a handful of talk show appearances, though, with Haddish hitting “Good Morning America,” Byrne stopping by “The Late Show,” Hayek on “The Tonight Show” and more.
On its own merits, as presented here, the movie looks like a funny enough diversion at the theater. Haddish’s comedic brand of being loud and proud is fully on display throughout the campaign, as are the chops of Byrne (always underrated for her comedy roles) and Hayek.
The tracking estimates may indicate that, despite all the recent evidence to the contrary, there may still be some life left in theatrical comedies. At least that’s if they feature the right cast, and this one might fit that bill.