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Box Office Shocker: 'Bridesmaids' Passing 'Knocked Up' as Judd Apatow's Highest-Grossing Movie

Bridesmaids Judd Apatow 2011

Also, by Sunday or Monday, the Kristen Wiig comedy will supplant "Sex and the City" as the top R-rated female comedy of all time.

With hits like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad, producer-director Judd Apatow has spent the past decade as Hollywood's king of guy humor. But the Apatow-produced, female-driven comedy Bridesmaids is on track to pass Knocked Up on Wednesday night as the highest-grossing domestic movie of Apatow's career. 

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That’s not all. Projections show that by Sunday or Monday, Universal's Bridesmaids -- directed by Paul Feig -- will supplant Sex and the City as the top R-rated female comedy of all time domestically. Read The Hollywood Reporter's review here.

'Bridesmaids' Rocks Weekend Box Office With $24.6 Million Opening

Through Tuesday, Bridesmaids' North America gross was $148.1 million, just behind Knocked Up, which cumed $148.8 million in 2007, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which earned $148.2 million domestically in 2006. Barring unforeseen interference from the Transformers sequel, Bridesmaids should pass both those movies Wednesday night.

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Apatow directed and produced Knocked Up and produced Talladega Nights. Both were bigger hits overseas, with Knocked Up still serving as Apatow's top worldwide grosser at $219 million. Bridesmaids has made $21 million internationally but is still rolling out in many territories, where it is off to a phenomenal start. 

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In the U.S., Bridesmaids was released May 13 and is still playing in a little fewer than 2,000 theaters. Sex and the City grossed $153 million in 2008 but had the advantage of being based on a popular HBO series, which contributed to a whopping $57 million opening weekend. Bridesmaids, on the other hand, opened at a strong-but-not-blockbuster $26 million yet has continued to lure audiences based on strong word-of-mouth.

'Bridesmaids' Producer Judd Apatow: Why Gender Shouldn't Matter in Movies

Bridesmaids also will become Universal’s top R-rated comedy of all time, replacing Knocked Up. The film stars Kristin Wiig -- who co-wrote the script with Annie Mumolo -- Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey.

Email: Pamela.McClintock@thr.com