Friday, July 1, 2011

It's official! Bridesmaids is the highest-grossing film in the Judd Apatow cannon! Let's keep up the Kristen Wiig Oscar buzz (tag, you're it)!

It took a day or two longer than predicted, but Bridesmaids currently sits at $149 million at the domestic box office.  That means it is now the biggest-grossing film that Judd Apatow has been involved with in any capacity.  In this case, he was the producer (Paul Feig was the director), and the film just passed the respective $148 million+ totals of Knocked Up (which he directed) and Talladega Nights: The Story of Ricky Bobby (which he wrote).  It has started to lose screens over the last few weeks, so how high it can claim is an open question.  As of sometime this weekend, it will pass $152.6 million, to overtake Sex and the City as the biggest-grossing female-led comedy of all time.  As of now, it's the 27th-biggest R-rated film ever.  Amongst R-rated comedies, it currently ranks 11th, and it will surely crack the top ten before the holiday weekend is over.  With a debut of $26 million back in mid-May, it has already amassed a dynamite 5.7x multiplier with gas still left in the proverbial engine.  It's also Universal's biggest-grossing completely original live-action film in eight years (Bruce Almighty earned $242 million back in summer 2003).  It is the 23rd-biggest grossing film in Universal history.

Maybe this will teach pundits to stop screaming "SEXISM!" whenever a female character is written as being just as flawed and occasionally unsympathetic as her male counterparts, especially in a comedy.  So yeah, obviously the whole 'will women and men turn out for a female-driven comedy' question has been answered. And the answer is: No!  Bridesmaids was obviously a fluke, and its massive success should absolutely not be a sign to the studios to make more varied female-driven films.  I jest of course, but on a more sincere note: Kristen Wiig deserves two Oscar nominations this year, Best Original Screenplay (along with Annie Mumolo) and Best Actress.  The former is actually pretty likely, but the latter is one we're going to have to fight for.  So don't wait around for the arbitrary 'Oscar Heat' to begin.  Make your own damn Oscar buzz right here, right now!  Kristen Wiig should absolutely be nominated for Best Actress for her work in Bridesmaids.  Frankly, she should probably win, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Scott Mendelson

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