Rom-com renaissance

January 19th, 2024

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Hey, FutureParty people. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? If you’ve fallen off the wagon, don’t worry — research shows that nearly a quarter of people quit their resolutions within a week. Well, there’s a new “healthy gaming” startup that wants to help with your fitness resolutions. Say hello to Talofa Games, which just raised $6.3 million and is bringing a whole new twist to your running routine.

In other news… Anyone But You is making rom-coms cool again, hybrid cars vie for EVs’ pie, and alternative assets lose their luster.

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Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Anyone But You revives the theatrical rom-com with help from TikTok

The Future. Sony found that a little charm from its stars and a lot of love from TikTok could turn Anyone But You into the first rom-com hit on the big screen in a very long time. With many young actors saying that they would love to do rom-coms, the genre may come roaring back as a way to boost profits on a budget and mint a new generation of stars.

Social chemistry
Despite earning only $8 million when it opened over Christmas weekend and getting middling critical reviews, Anyone But You has turned into a sleeper hit that could end up grossing $100 million on a $25 million budget.


  • In its second week of release, ticket sales jumped 45.6% (the third-biggest increase ever for a wide release), and it earned more in its third weekend than it did during its opener (a first for a movie released over Christmas).

  • The demand was driven by the social content of stars Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell that showed off their chemistry — some almost doubling the views of the actual trailer.

  • And audiences recreating the end-credits dance sequence to Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 single “Unwritten” became a viral phenomenon (the film’s hashtag has clocked 1.2 billion views on TikTok), which was then boosted by Sweeney on her socials.

The film has become a bit of the envy of Hollywood, with one exec from a rival studio telling THR that the movie has “hit a nerve because of TikTok,” (which also fueled “Barbenheimer” and “GentleMinions”), while another said that the film bucked preconceived theories of modern rom-coms because “this age group, which is 18 to 24, [hasn’t] been offered these movies theatrically.”

It must be time for a rom-comnaissance.

So, now we want to hear from you…


We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Have you seen Anyone But You yet?

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56.7% of you voted No in yesterday’s poll: Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day?

“I like to have a drink and an appetizer to whet my appetite and wouldn’t feel right doing that in the morning!”

“Breakfast is delicious, but dinner is better.”

“I love breakfast, but it is not my favorite.”

“I do not wake up hungry, so I skip breakfast 90% of the days. But I enjoy it when I do have it.”

“I literally don’t eat breakfast cuz it messes with my brain’s clarity.”

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The never-ending Prius // Courtesy of Toyota

Hybrid cars are back on track

The Future. The EV revolution isn’t turning out to be as radical as automakers and policymakers had hoped — which is turning attention back to hybrids as a necessary middle ground for reducing tailpipe emissions and meeting customer demand. With ambitious environmental targets coming within the next decade, car companies may transition all gas-powered fleets to hybrids as a baseline for market competitiveness.

EV pit stop
Hybrids are picking up the pace as EV adoption hits some roadblocks.

  • Hybrid sales were up 65% last year, while EVs were up about 46% — with sales hitting roughly 1.2 million each in the US.

  • That gave hybrids 8% of the automotive market, up from 5.5% in 2022.

  • And when plug-in hybrids are counted, one in 10 new cars pairs a gasoline engine with electric motors to save fuel and boost performance, per NYT.

The two biggest reasons for the hybrid bump are their lower price tag (the average hybrid cost is $42,500, while an EV’s is $60,500), as well as consumer anxiety around charging logistics (renters and urbanites who don’t own houses, especially).

The hybrid success has been a major boon for Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia, which collectively make up 90% of American hybrid sales. Meanwhile, GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and many others are already pulling back on their ambitious EV sales targets and reconsidering how hybrids may actually be a quicker path to their overall sustainability goals.

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Assets frozen // Illustration by Kait Cunniff with Midjourney

Alternative assets lose their luster

The Future. Once a shelter from COVID’s stock market doldrums, the alternative asset collector boom is, by and large, over. In its place is a return to classic stocks and bonds… which could leave the collectibles markets to the people who truly love them. As the market corrects, those true collectors could soon find bargain-rate prices for items they never thought they could afford.

Collectibles crash
Resale prices and valuations for everything from trading cards to luxury watches to rare wines and whiskies have tumbled over the past year.

  • Index trackers like Card Ladder CL50 Index (trading cards) and Rare Whiskey Icon 100 Index (whiskey) reported double-digit declines.

  • Why? Traditional stocks and indexes (like the benchmark S&P 500) are doing great again, while institutional cryptos like Bitcoin have also multiplied their valuations in recent months.

  • And with inflation and interest rates still high, investors no longer have the additional capital to experiment with non-traditional assets that feel very speculative.

As Insider notes, we sure are a long ways off from Credit Suisse declaring that Chanel handbags, Rolex watches, and Chinese fine art are better investments than gold and bonds.

Markets, like life, move pretty fast.

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The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • Disney’s proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz and former Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter has reached a new phase as Peltz nominates himself and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo to the board of directors. Read More → variety

  • Tyler, the Creator was the best-selling male artist on vinyl, moving 552,000 records in the US. Read More → hypebeast

  • Rumor has it… Microsoft is considering opening up Xbox-exclusive games, like Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush, to rival platforms PlayStation and Nintendo. Read More → theverge

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Former Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke is taking the reins at LVMH’s Fashion Group, which includes brands like Givenchy, Kenzo, and Marc Jacobs. Read More → bof

  • Apple is starting to sell Apple Watches without a blood oxygen monitor after losing a patent battle with Masimo Corp. Read More → bloomberg

  • MSCHF is debuting luxury colognes that smell like staple household cleaner Fabuloso and squeaky hinge fixer WD-40. Read More → hypebeast

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • Amazon is working on an AI-powered update to Alexa, dubbed “Remarkable Alexa,” which will exist within a new paid version of the voice assistant. Read More → insider

  • A trial between Coinbase and SEC has begun that may determine if crypto exchanges are really just illegal securities platforms. Read More → fastcompany

  • BMW has hired a fleet of Figure humanoid robots to work alongside humans at its plant in South Carolina. Read More → techcrunch

Creator Economy

  • Reddit is planning to launch its long-awaited IPO in March. Read More → fastcompany

  • Instagram will start rolling out “nighttime nudges” to teens who have spent more than 10 minutes on the app after 10 PM. Read More → forbes

  • Gordon Ramsay dropped the debut episode of his new show, Idiot Sandwich, on his YouTube channel — a cooking competition featuring top digital creators like Rhett & Link, Zach King, and Lexi Hensler. Read More → tubefilter

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Melody Song. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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