Paramount’s New ‘Book Club’ Trailer Pushes Starry Counter-Programming

Book Club
Paramount Pictures

After cashing in with left-field horror hit A Quiet Place earlier this spring, Paramount is hoping to keep the mojo working with the May 18 release of Book Club.

Today’s release of the new, “final” trailer for the women-of-a-certain-age comedy gets straight to the point (see video above). “Every so often,” the voiceover intones, “there’s a reason to go to the movies. Here’s four.” And before any narrative seeds are planted, the names of the film’s leads are splashed on the screen: Mary Steenburgen, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen.

In a classic bit of counter-programming, Paramount is putting the comedy out opposite Deadpool 2 and family film Show Dogs, with Avengers: Infinity War still likely to still be a force in the marketplace. The bet is that the star power and clear demographic tilt of the film will create an opening, which many past summer releases have been able to exploit.

Director Bill Holderman’s comedy focuses on a group of friends who discover new romances and rekindle old ones after reading S&M-lite novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Keaton plays Diane, who is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage; Fonda is the free-spirited Vivian, who buys the group copies of the book; Bergen plays Sharon, who is still processing a decades-old divorce; and Steenburgen is Carol, whose 35-year marriage is in a rut. Don Johnson, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson and Richard Dreyfus also star.

With studio execs and Viacom brass touting the 2019 slate as the true measure of the Jim Gianopulos regime, with a dozen films dated and four more expected, 2018 is showing more of a pulse than the studio has had for a while. Even without A Quiet Place, the film unit showed its first profit since 2015 in the fiscal second quarter ending March 31. The studio’s offerings later this year includes Tom Cruise’s return in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, an untitled Tyler Perry outing and the Bumblebee spinoff from the Transformers franchise.

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