Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Quickly Nabs Year-End Release

Top Five Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

Top Five Still - H 2014

Paramount scooped up rights to the comedy at the Toronto Film Festival

Paramount has wasted no time in setting a release date for Chris Rock's comedy Top Five.

The studio announced Thursday it will open the R-rated film in select runs on Dec. 5, followed by a nationwide release on Dec. 12. THR first reported it would hit theaters in December, but the studio hadn't yet decided on the exact date.

Rock directed, wrote and stars in the movie opposite Rosario Dawson, with Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin Hart among those making cameos. Top Five stars Rock as a comedian trying to reinvent himself as a serious actor just as his reality-TV star fiancee talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her show.

Virtually every major distributor chased rights to Top Five following its Sept. 6 premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

But Paramount emerged the victor, thanks to Paramount chief Brad Grey's longtime ties to Rock, as well as the studio's close relationship with producer Scott Rudin, who made Top Five in concert with Barry Diller. Grey and Rock have known each other since Rock's early days as a stand-up comedian.

When expanding nationwide on Dec. 12, Top Five hopes to serve as counterprogramming to Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings and horror film Demonic. It's the only comedy in the marketplace until Dec. 25, when fellow Paramount comedy Hot Tub Machine 2 and Sony's The Interview both open.