Last year, Sony cleverly tried to market The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, an R-rated movie about rape and murder with a seemingly inappropriate Dec. 25th release date, as “The feel bad movie of Christmas.” The gamble sort of paid off: Tattoo ended up making $232 million worldwide, just enough to cover its budget, but not quite enough to justify rushing the sequel into production.
This year, Universal seems to be doubling down on that strategy with Les Misérables, Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of the popular musical. The promising first trailer features Anne Hathaway singing “I Dreamed a Dream”—which next to Lou Reed’s “The Kids” and Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony could very well be the most depressing thing ever written—over images of impoverished children, Hugh Jackman performing forced labour, and Anne Hathaway getting her hair shorn off. Merry Christmas to you too, Universal.
Les Misérables hits theatres Dec. 14th.