Congrats to Paul Feig and Kristen Wiig and Universal - Bridesmaids has done what I suspect no one thought it would do and last night (should have) topped Knocked Up to become the highest grossing movie from the Judd Apatow family. The R-rated female comedy was at $148,070,000 yesterday morning, and with average daily takes of $70-80k Wednesday night receipts should have vaulted the picture above Knocked Up‘s $148,768,917 domestic total (in reality Bridesmaids, which has no traction overseas, will not meet Knocked Up‘s worldwide gross).
That’s huge news! This is an R-rated WOMEN’S COMEDY. One that’s good! While we’re all obsessing over Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘s pre-ordained blockbuster status this weekend let’s remember that a movie whose advertising campaign was reputed to turn off men in droves is one of the summer’s biggest hits. And costing less than $30 million it’s one of the summer’s most profitable as well. In fact, it looks like Bridesmaids might have a chance of taking down Sex and the City to become the number one R-rated women’s comedy of all time. That’s not a particularly meaningful statistic, but let’s take pride where we can.
Why did this movie work? Part of it has to be that it’s just simply good. And it came at the right part of the summer. Also, I believe Kristen Wiig was ready to make the leap, and the audience was there for her. It’s hard to get that timing right, to know when your lead is just about to be big enough to carry a movie, but Feig and Apatow and company got that right. Now let’s see if the rest of Hollywood figures that out - remember that Seth Rogen became a major star off of Knocked Up.
So yeah, Bridesmaids took a few months to make what Transformers will make in the first ten days. But sometimes it’s the little victories that count.