Office Christmas Party
|Office Christmas Party|
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$114.5 million|
Office Christmas Party is a 2016 American Christmas comedy film directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck and written by Justin Malen and Laura Solon, based on a story by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film stars an ensemble cast, including Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T. J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon, and Jennifer Aniston, and was released on December 9, 2016, by Paramount Pictures. It grossed $114 million worldwide.
In December 2016, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), Chief Technical Officer of Zenotek's Chicago branch, meets with his lawyer, Ezra (Matt Walsh), to finalize his divorce in time for the holidays. Zenotek meanwhile has failed to meet its quarterly quota, and interim CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) threatens to lay off 40 percent of the staff, cut bonuses, and cancel the annual Christmas party. Her brother, branch manager Clay (T. J. Miller), is desperate to keep his staff. Carol harbors resentment toward Clay, whom she believed was her father's favorite, and threatens to shut down the branch. Josh and Clay, along with Josh's head of tech, Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), propose partnering with financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), whom they are having lunch with later that day, and Carol gives them the chance to win his business. Walter is pleased with the pitch, but concerned with another recent branch closure at Zenotek, and feels the company is more about the budget than their people. Clay invites him to their Christmas party in hopes of showing him that their company is in good standing. Before leaving town, Carol offers Josh a position at her New York headquarters, confident her brother will fail.
Clay funds an exorbitant Christmas party, much to the chagrin of Mary (Kate McKinnon), the head of Human Resources. Joel (Sam Richardson) takes DJ duty, but the party struggles to pick up even with Tracey inviting Chicago Bulls player Jimmy Butler as a friend. Though initially reluctant, Walter is inadvertently doused with cocaine when it is accidentally fed into a snow machine and succumbs to his free-spirited nature. Throughout the party, various employees cut loose: Nate (Karan Soni) tries to impress two of his staff (Andrew Leeds and Oliver Cooper) by hiring an escort named Savannah (Abbey Lee) to pretend to be his girlfriend, though Nate is found out when she gives a handjob to a fellow employee; Clay's assistant and single-mom Allison (Vanessa Bayer) attempts to hook up with new hire Fred (Randall Park) but stops when he reveals he has a mother-child fetish; and customer service supervisor Jeremy (Rob Corddry) cuts loose on the dance floor with Mary, whom he previously despised. Josh and Tracey get stuck on the roof and nearly kiss before Jeremy interrupts them. Back on the dance floor, Clay wins over Walter's business, and Clay promises everyone they'll keep their jobs and receive their bonuses. The party gradually grows more and more chaotic as employees begin partaking in orgies, damaging company property, and doing drugs.
Carol's flight is cancelled due to weather, and she rushes back to the office when she hears about the party from her Uber driver, who took people to the party. Though Carol is initially impressed with receiving Walter's business, Walter injures himself attempting to swing off a balcony after a conversation with Clay, and is later discovered to have been fired from his firm, nullifying any contract and thus no longer bringing in any new money to Zenotek. Carol decides then and there to shut down the branch. To add insult to injury, she reminds Josh about the job offer aloud to everyone, especially Clay. Even though Josh says he said no, the surrounding employees angrily ignore and shun him. Tracey reveals that she was given the same offer but explicitly rejected it where Josh kept it open. Feeling betrayed about what he heard from Carol, Clay rushes off with Savannah's emotionally unstable pimp, Trina (Jillian Bell), to party elsewhere, though Trina is more interested in robbing Clay of his wealth that he is actually keeping on his person. Josh, Tracey, Mary, and Carol race off to save Clay.
Many of the other employees learn about the termination Carol announced earlier. Believing that everyone is to lose their jobs, they throw out and destroy all the company equipment and burn everything in sight, forcing security guard Carla (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) to put down the unruly, now destructive and rebellious party. Clay ends up racing Trina's car towards an opening drawbridge, attempting to jump the gap, a feat he'd earlier mentioned to Josh. Josh drives Mary's minivan alongside him, and tries to convince Clay not to jump, but he is still angered and heartbroken from Carol offering Josh the job, as much as remembering her insults. Believing he's worthless, he still decides to jump, regardless of whether he makes it and lives or dies. After everyone, including Trina, fails to convince Clay to pull over, Josh threatens to jump the gap with him, and Clay reluctantly allows it. Not willing to die, Carol forcefully moves the steering wheel from Josh, causing the car to swerve into Clay's car, crashing both vehicles. Clay's car hits an internet hub, disconnecting the entire city.
Trina and Savannah are arrested for their crimes, while Clay is taken to the hospital. In the wake of the internet blackout, Tracey realizes how to run a new innovation she'd been working on for several years that combines internet WiFi with wired connections through the city's power grid, which had previously failed due to her inability to take the real-world interference of the existing internet signals into account. They race back to the destroyed office to set up her tech, and when it works, internet is restored to Chicago. This new innovation saves the jobs of the entire team, with Clay apologizing for how his father treated Carol. Walter, who is in the same hospital as Clay, agrees to join the team. Josh and Tracey kiss amidst the ruins of their office. Jeremy opens up to Mary, and Nate and Allison agree to go on a date. The whole group meets Carol and Clay as he's released from the hospital, and they all go out for breakfast, driving recklessly on the way.
- Jason Bateman as Josh Parker, Chief of Technical Advancement, Zenotek Chicago
- Olivia Munn as Tracey Hughes, Chief of R&D, Zenotek Chicago
- T. J. Miller as Clay Vanstone, Head of Zenotek Chicago
- Jennifer Aniston as Carol Vanstone, interim CEO of Zenotek
- Kate McKinnon as Mary Winetoss, the human resources representative of Zenotek
- Jillian Bell as Trina
- Courtney B. Vance as Walter Davis
- Vanessa Bayer as Allison
- Rob Corddry as Jeremy
- Karan Soni as Nate
- Sam Richardson as Joel
- Randall Park as Fred
- Abbey Lee as Savannah
- Jamie Chung as Meghan
- Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Carla
- Fortune Feimster as Lonny, the Uber Driver
- Matt Walsh as Ezra
- Ben Falcone as Doctor
- Chloe Wepper as Kelsey
- Oliver Cooper as Drew
- Adrian Martinez as Larry
- Erick Chavarria as Alan
- Andrew Leeds as Tim
- Jimmy Butler as himself
In 2010, Guymon Casady approached Josh Gordon and Will Speck with an original idea of his, to make a movie about a holiday office party. They subsequently set the concept up at DreamWorks Pictures, and it was later rewritten by Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, and Laura Solon. On February 19, 2016, it was announced that Speck and Gordon would also direct the film, which would star Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T. J. Miller, and Kate McKinnon. The producers were set as Scott Stuber, along with Entertainment 360's Guymon Casady and Daniel Rappaport. On March 8, 2016, Randall Park joined the film, and Olivia Munn was cast on March 17. On April 4, 2016, Abbey Lee Kershaw joined the cast. Karan Soni, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, and Jamie Chung were added on April 5, 2016, and on April 6, 2016, Rob Corddry, Andrew Leeds, and Oliver Cooper were cast as well.
Principal photography on the film began late March 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. In early April, filming took place in Chicago, Illinois, and after that production moved to Hiram, Georgia, where it shot from April 19 to June 1, 2016.
On casting Aniston in the film, Gordon stated, "We created this character for Jennifer because she's absolutely fearless when it comes to playing somewhat unlikeable characters in comedies. For her, the more daring the role, the better."
Office Christmas Party was released in the United States on December 9, 2016, by Paramount Pictures. Paramount also distributed it overseas, except in several territories where Mister Smith Entertainment handled sales, including the United Kingdom and Australia, where it was handled by Entertainment One.
Office Christmas Party grossed $54.8 million in the United States and Canada and $59.7 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $114.5 million, against a production budget of $45 million.
Office Christmas Party was released alongside The Bounce Back and the wide expansions of Miss Sloane and Nocturnal Animals, and was expected to gross $13–15 million from 3,210 theaters in its opening weekend. It went on to make $16.9 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office and on par with recent R-rated comedies like How to Be Single and Sisters. Fifty-six percent of its opening weekend audience was male, while 83% was over the age of 25.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 41% based on 169 reviews and an average rating of 4.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Its cast of gifted comics is good for a handful of laughs, but Office Christmas Party's overstuffed plot ultimately proves roughly as disappointing as its clichéd gags and forced sentimentality." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film had a score of 42 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
In Germany the title was changed for the home release, with the film named Dirty Office Party.
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