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Strays (2023 film)

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Strays
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJosh Greenbaum
Written byDan Perrault
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyTim Orr
Edited by
Music byDara Taylor
Production
companies
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • August 18, 2023 (2023-08-18)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$46 million[2]
Box office$36 million[3][4]

Strays is a 2023 American comedy film directed by Josh Greenbaum and written by Dan Perrault. The film follows an abandoned dog (voiced by Will Ferrell) who teams up with several strays (voiced by Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, and Randall Park) to get revenge on his abusive owner (Will Forte). Harvey Guillén, Rob Riggle, Brett Gelman, Jamie Demetriou, and Sofía Vergara also star.

Strays was released in the United States by Universal Pictures on August 18, 2023. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $36 million on a $46 million budget.

Plot[edit]

Reggie is a naive Border Terrier who lives with his deadbeat owner Doug. When Reggie inadvertently destroys Doug's bong, Doug makes several attempts to ditch Reggie, which Reggie views as a game. Losing track of Doug in the city three hours away, Reggie meets a street-wise dog named Bug who teaches him how to be a stray after he defends him from a Rottweiler and a Doberman. After a night with Bug and his friends, an Australian Shepherd named Maggie and a therapy Great Dane named Hunter, Reggie finally realizes that Doug does not love him. He decides to get revenge by biting off Doug's penis, and the other strays accompany him for support.

During the journey, the group bonds as they get into several situations, culminating in getting caught by animal control after a hallucinogenic mushroom-induced high causes them to maul a family of rabbits, which they mistake for plushies. During their captivity, Bug admits that he used to have a family of his own but was forced to escape when they tried to euthanize him after he bit the daughter (though he fails to see exactly what he did wrong). In an attempt to escape, the dogs plan to use Hunter's erect penis to hook the kennel keys but are unsuccessful. Then in another attempt to escape, Reggie suggests that every dog defecate on the floor at the same time so when the security guard opens it, they can all run out, in which they are successful. After escaping the pound, however, Reggie convinces himself that he is to blame for Doug treating him poorly. This causes Bug to urinate on Reggie's bandana in a fit of anger and Reggie leaves the other strays. Making their way back to the city, Bug, Maggie, and Hunter stumble upon a lost girl scout and alert a search and rescue worker to her location.

Reggie returns to Doug's house, and after reminiscing about all the times Doug mistreated him, he finally sees what he was. He confronts and cuts ties with him. However, before leaving, Doug slams the door in front of him and attempts to kill Reggie. The other strays intervene and, with their help, Reggie successfully bites Doug's penis off. Hunter also defecates in Doug's mouth, and during the altercation, Doug's house and pickup truck are burned down. Doug is taken to a hospital, where he went to surgery. Afterward, the strays move on: Hunter returns to being a therapy dog and starts a relationship with Maggie, the latter begins training as a police dog, the Girl Scout adopts Bug, and Reggie remains a stray and chooses to guide new strays, though still often spends time with the other dogs.

Cast[edit]

  • Will Forte as Doug, Reggie's former owner
  • Brett Gelman as Willy, an animal control officer
  • Dan Perrault as Dr. Hagen, a doctor seen in the mid-credits scene
  • Dennis Quaid as a birdwatcher
  • Jade Fernandez as Ashley, Doug's ex-girlfriend

Voices[edit]

Production[edit]

In August 2019, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures.[9] In May 2021, Universal acquired the rights to Strays, an adult comedy about dogs written by Dan Perrault, with Lord and Miller attached to produce alongside Erik Feig and Louis Leterrier. The film is a co-production between Picturestart and Rabbit Hole Productions.[10] Filming began in September 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.[11][12][13] Production concluded by December 2021.[5]

Release[edit]

Strays was released in the United States on August 18, 2023, after being delayed from its original June 9, 2023 date.[14][15] It was released on digital platforms on September 5, 2023, followed by DVD and Blu-ray releases on October 10, 2023.[16]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of October 19, 2023, Strays has grossed $24 million in the United States and Canada, and $12 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $36 million.[3][4]

In the United States and Canada, Strays was released alongside Blue Beetle, and was initially projected to gross $15–17 million from 3,223 theaters in its opening weekend.[2] After making $3.4 million on its first day (including $1.1 million from Thursday night previews), weekend estimates were lowered to $8.5 million. It went on to debut to $8.3 million, finishing in fourth.[17][18] The film made $4.9 million in its second weekend (a drop of 40%), finishing in sixth.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 53% of 172 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's consensus reads: "Crudely effective and effectively crude, Strays is more amusing than hilarious, but this comedy's scattershot humor is partly offset by its surprisingly big heart."[20] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 54 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Strays". Irish Film Classification Office. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (August 16, 2023). "'Blue Beetle' Aims to End 'Barbie's' Box Office Reign With $30 Million Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 16, 2023. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Strays (2023)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Strays (2023)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (December 7, 2021). "Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte Starring in Universal Comedy Strays (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (March 15, 2022). "Isla Fisher Joins Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx in Strays (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 5, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (March 4, 2022). "Randall Park Joins Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx in Universal Comedy Strays (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 2, 2022. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e O'Rourke, Ryan (February 8, 2023). "First 'Strays' Trailer: Will Ferrell Is an Abandoned Pup Ready to Bite Back". Collider. Archived from the original on July 26, 2023. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  9. ^ Galuppo, Mia (August 2, 2019). "Phil Lord, Chris Miller Set First-Look Deal With Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Donnelly, Matt (May 27, 2021). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Picturestart Set Live-Action Comedy Strays at Universal (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 27, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  11. ^ "Film and TV Projects Going Into Production – Strays". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on May 27, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Seiler, Zoe (September 21, 2021). "Production for feature film will take place in Kirkwood Sept. 20-25". Decaturish. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  13. ^ Ho, Rodney (September 15, 2021). "What's filming in Georgia in September?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Mendelson, Scott (May 8, 2023). "Universal Moves 'Strays' to August as 'Please Don't Destroy' Comedy Pivots to Peacock". TheWrap. Archived from the original on June 2, 2023. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 15, 2022). "Strays: Universal Dates Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx & Will Forte Comedy For Summer 2023". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  16. ^ "Strays Digital Release Date Confirmed". When To Stream. August 29, 2023. Archived from the original on September 5, 2023. Retrieved September 5, 2023.
  17. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 20, 2023). "'Blue Beetle' Still Eyes $25M; 'Strays' Goes To The Dogs With $8M+ – Saturday Box Office Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 20, 2023. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  18. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (August 20, 2023). "Box Office: 'Blue Beetle' Stumbles With $25 Million Debut, Ends 'Barbie's' Four-Week Streak". Variety. Archived from the original on August 20, 2023. Retrieved August 21, 2023.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 27, 2023). "'Gran Turismo' & 'Barbie' Bumping Heads With $17M+ Each This Weekend; Doll Leading National Cinema Day Early Admissions – Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 28, 2023. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  20. ^ "Strays". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 3, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  21. ^ "Strays". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved September 3, 2023.

External links[edit]