Bad Moms was one of the surprise hits of this summer, earning over $112 million at the domestic box office against a $20 million budget, good for 17th overall among 2016 releases. The film’s success was on the strength of a deep current in American life that hadn’t been tapped nearly enough by popular culture: That moms of young children are overworked, overburdened, under appreciated and could use a break. Moms, clearly, came out in droves to see the film.
The film, starring Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell, featured the three moms deciding one day to cut loose, start partying, and enjoy life again. Sure, the film had its blind spots- it only seemed to care about moms who were white, suburban, and having no concerns whatsoever about money, and was also written and directed entirely by men- it was an undeniably funny effort that saw a niche in the marketplace and filled it. And now, the franchise will be extended.
According to Deadline, a spinoff titled Bad Dads will make its way to U.S. theaters on July 14, 2017. There, it will serve as counter-programming for the sci-fi blockbuster War for the Planet of the Apes. The film appears to be part of distributor STX’s plan to grow the Bad Moms brand with “a series of film spinoffs, a reality television show, short form digital content, and a robust consumer products program.” Details on all that remain under wraps for now, but it stems from their research indicating that traditional sequels are grossing 68 percent less than the originals. Bad Moms 2 isn’t happening, but a whole franchise is.
Nothing has thus far been announced in terms of Bad Dads casting, a director, or even a script; more details, the report said, will be announced “in the coming weeks.” Presumably the film, which is not a direct sequel, will not involve the dads from the first film, both of whom (played by David Walton and Lyle Brocato) were depicted as one-dimensional dolts.
Bad Moms was a good enough idea that it deserves expansion, but whether the first film’s audience will return for a film with that different a concept is another matter entirely. It’s also not entirely clear whether the concept would survive a gender swap- since dads abdicating their responsibilities in order to drink all the time has a very different connotation, and isn’t exactly unheard of in movies.
Another question about the film worth pondering is how the creative team is going to meet the release date, which is just over nine months away. Unless the project has been in production in secret for some time (and is only being announced now), Bad Dads is going to have to go through a quick turnaround in order to reach theaters on time. Granted, this movie should be relatively cheap to make, but even mid-budgeted works shouldn’t be rushed. It will be interesting to see what happens and just how fast the film comes together.
Bad Dads is scheduled to arrive in theaters July 14, 2017.