‘Cocaine Bear’ Looks to Repeat a Box Office Strategy That Worked for ‘Violent Night’ and ‘M3GAN’

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Comedic thrillers with a weird central idea have scored with audiences lately

Cocaine Bear

Between the Christmas action comedy “Violent Night” and the self-aware horror film “M3GAN,” Universal has found box office success recently with wild R-rated films featuring darkly humorous loglines. Now the studio looks to do it again with Elizabeth Banks’ “Cocaine Bear,” a comedic thriller that is exactly what its title suggests: a bear going on a rampage after getting its nose into a huge stash of cocaine.

Universal ran trailers for “Cocaine Bear” prior to screenings of “Violent Night” and “M3GAN,” hoping that the audiences for those films would build up an appetite for more absurd movies that can be satisfied this weekend.