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House Party Reboot - Everything You Need To Know

Back in 1990, the movie "House Party" launched a few careers, became a cult classic, took in more than $26 million with a limited release (via Box Office Mojo), and spawned a few sequels when it musically depicted the Black teen scene with "freshness and originality," as Roger Ebert put it in his review from the time. Today, the energy is on its way back, thanks to New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.

The reboot of "House Party" has been in the works for a few years but looks to be moving forward right now with some recent cast addition news trickling out here and there. In April 2021, Deadline called the project a "high priority" for Maverick Carter and LeBron James' Springhill Company, which is producing the new movie. More than 30 years removed from the fun and fierce original, the new "House Party" (possibly a new franchise) looks to become a cultural touchstone for a new generation. The film made its big-screen debut on January 12, 2023, according to Deadline. Here's everything else you need to know about the "Party."

What is the plot of the House Party reboot?

The plot of the original "House Party" is fairly simple: There's a party going on at Kid's house, but Play gets into a fight and is grounded by his father so he can't go. When he tries anyway, things expectedly and hilariously spiral out of control. The "House Party" reimagining is just that, taking the idea of best friends throwing a rager, and pretty much abandoning everything else. This time around, the action revolves around best friends Damon and Kevin, not high school students but wannabe (meaning failed) promoters whose lives are going nowhere fast. They're on the brink of losing their low-effort house-cleaning jobs and are about to run out of money, too, so they decide to host an epic party, without permission, in the last house they clean. It just so happens to be a palatial mansion owned by NBA superstar LeBron James.

Who starred in the House Party reboot?

In April 2021, the production cast Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Marvel's "Spider-Man" movies) and Tosin Cole ("Doctor Who") as the stars of the new "House Party" (via Deadline), possibly playing similar roles to the ones Kid 'n Play (Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin) did back in 1990. A few weeks later, DC Young Fly was also announced as part of the cast (via ComicBook.com), although it's unclear what role he will play, followed by Karen Obilom ("Doom Patrol," via Variety). In July 2021, according to Deadline, Lendeborg walked away from the "Party" to attend to his mental health, and Jacob Lattimore of "The Chi" joined the movie in his stead. 

As the original "House Party" came out of the hip-hop scene of the late '80s and early '90s, and starred rap duo Kid 'n Play, so too does the "House Party" reboot celebrate the world of rap. Musicians who appeared in the 2023 "House Party" include Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, GaTa, and Lil Wayne. Some athletes showed up, too, in the form of Los Angeles Laker star Anthony Davis and his teammate (and the film's producer) LeBron James.

Who directed the House Party reboot?

Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin both wrote the screenplay for and directed the original "House Party" back in 1990, while Rusty Cundieff and Daryl G. Nickens took over for 1991's "House Party 2," and David Toney and Takashi Bufford stepping in for "House Party 3" in 1994. All those writers were emerging talent in Hollywood at the time, and the scripters for the "House Party" reboot follow in that tradition. Writing the screenplay for the new film are Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, who both wrote for Donald Glover's "Atlanta" and "Guava Island." Hudlin is among the new film's executive producers, 

Reginald Hudlin, the original movie's director and writer, is among the show's executive producers, along with his brother Warrington Hudlin, an original "House Party" producer. Stepping into the director's spot: the mononymous Calmatic, also helming a "White Men Can't Jump" remake after proving his mettle making music videos for Pharrell Williams, Khalid, Zayn, Anderson.Paak, and Lil Nas X.

What was the House Party reboot rated?

With the trailer, and the circumstances of the trailer's release and presentation strongly suggesting it, "House Party" is a pretty raunchy movie. Its entire conceit concerns an epic party, after all, and a lot of wild things tend to go on at such affairs, particularly in movies. A lot of that was hinted at in the film's official trailer — its "Red Band" trailer, actually, advising potential viewers to proceed with caution as they even watch the technically safe advertisement for a film packing a lot of grown-ups only material. "House Party" contains many scenes of alcohol drinking, drug use (by humans and a koala), a little bit of violence, a few sexual situations, and almost constant use of profanity. The Motion Picture Association, Inc., the watchdog group that issues letter ratings to movies in the U.S. based on their content, summarily delivered an "R" rating to "House Party." No one under 17 is allowed into the theater showing that film without a parent or guardian present, what with the "pervasive language, drug use, sexual material, and some violence."

What was the box office for the House Party reboot?

On January 13, 2023 — the first day of the extra-long weekend that included the federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday — "House Party" opened in about 1,400 theaters in North America. Only two major films saw wide release that weekend, "House Party" and "Plane," with the latter showing in more than twice as many locations. As such, "House Party" put up some low box office numbers during its opening weekend. With mega-blockbuster "Avatar: The Way of Water" pulling in nearly $40 million at more than 4,000 theaters, and "M3GAN" and "Puss in Boots" adding about $20 million each to their totals, there wasn't a lot of room left for an R-rated youth-oriented comedy like "House Party." The reboot took in $4.61 million over the long weekend, landing at sixth place in the box office chart. In its second weekend in theaters, the film's business dropped off considerably, earning just $1.6 million.

How are critics and audiences responding to the House Party reboot?

The original "House Party" from 1990, the one that starred Kid n' Play and launched a trilogy, earned near universal critical acclaim, with a 94% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It's since secured a spot on multiple retrospective lists of the best comedy films ever made. The makers of the 2023 reboot, also called "House Party," faced a daunting challenge then in crafting a film that lived up to the legacy and enduring popularity of the original. According to the collective of critics whose scores were tabulated by Rotten Tomatoes, the new "House Party" fell short, and pales in comparison to its predecessor. The 2023 "House Party" achieved a score of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on the reviews of 37 critics. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times lamented the preponderance of "unfunny gags," while Brian Richards of Pajiba said, "This version wasn't as funny or as good as it could've been."

Not a lot of people saw "House Party" in its first couple of weeks in theatrical release (it bombed at the box office), but those who did seemed to enjoy it. "House Party" racked up an audience score of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Where to watch the House Party reboot

While first announced as a LeBron James and Springhill project in 2018, according to Okayplayer, it took more than four years for the next generation "House Party" movie to be fully produced and released to the public. By 2022, with the movie fully filmed and completed, Warner Bros. planned to skip a theatrical release and make the film an exclusive offering on its HBO Max streaming platform. But right around its scheduled drop date of July 28, 2022, Warner Bros., undergoing a major corporate restructuring that resulted in the company deleting numerous properties from HBO Max, removed "House Party" from its release calendar and shelved it indefinitely.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. then announced "House Party" would see a theatrical release after all, arriving in theaters on December 9, 2022, and then rescheduling it to January 13, 2023. Warner Bros. and movie theater chains operate on a schedule where the cineplexes get films for an exclusive period of 45 to 90 days, and when that's up, the movie can stream. According to TheWrap, this means "House Party" should hit streaming — likely Warner's HBO Max — sometime between late February 2023 and mid-April 2023.