Hot off the heels of STXfilms’ number one box office debut of the Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston dramatic comedy, The Upside, the film division of Robert Simonds’ next-generation media company STX Entertainment today announced it will partner with HartBeat Productions to produce two new comedy projects with an eye for Hart to star in both.
STX approached Hart and Hartbeat Productions’ President of Film/TV John Cheng with two separate pitches, the first titled Black Friday, is a body-switching comedy based on a story by Doan La, and the second is an untitled international romantic comedy that will be looking to attach a writer. Hart and Cheng will produce both projects and HartBeat’s Carli Haney will oversee with STXfilms’ SVP of Production Drew Simon.
The Upside, which is based on the hit French film The Intouchables, exceeded box office projections in its opening weekend, debuting to $20.4 million over the three-day period, and gave Hart his highest-ever audiences scores.
“It’s crystal clear audiences love Kevin and they want to see him in a variety of roles,” said Chairman of STXfilms Adam Fogelson. “This partnership allows STXfilms to take the successful collaboration we started with The Upside and extend it to new projects that further build on our mission to work with the best in the business to grow our profitable business model.”
“STX came in to make The Upside the success it is; their strategy, execution and collaborative approach are perfectly aligned with HartBeat Productions’ values,” said Hart. “It was an easy ‘yes’ when they pitched us two new ideas to produce together.”
“STX has a proven ability to tell crowd-pleasing, globally appealing stories in the mid-budget sweet spot,” said Cheng. “When they approached Kevin and me with pitches that we felt we could creatively sink our teeth into, we recognized we were in good hands with an innovative partner that would help us produce two funny and original films with the potential to reach audiences around the world.”