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Bridesmaids shocked box office prognosticators by taking in $26.2 million over the weekend.
That surpassed the anticipated $15-17 million bow that had been predicted for the movie, which stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy and Wendi McLendon-Covey (Jon Hamm also makes an appearance).
While there has been much debate over the fact that the movie is female-driven, Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow believes that shouldn’t matter.
“I went to Baby Mama opening weekend,” he told the New York Times. “I don’t see comedy in genders. I see it more as, something’s funny or it’s not. And that’s why this movie plays well to men and women.”
He believed it was important to place commercials during not just women-friendly shows but also male-targeted programming like the NBA playoffs.
“It is a tricky marketing challenge to tell men that this movie is just as much for them,” he said. “They have to find that out just by hearing that it’s funny. As soon as they know it’s funny, they don’t care. They’re ready to go.”
Apatow added that he felt pressure for the movie to do well because if it hadn’t, studio executives would point to its failure as a reason to back away from female-led movies.
“But because people came, the opposite lesson was learned, which is, there’s an enormous neglected community of moviegoers who want to see films like this,” he said.
Apatow also hopes the success of Bridesmaids will put an end to the gender debate when it comes to moviemaking.
“It’s ridiculous that women have to see 8 million male-driven films, and no one ever says, ‘Will women come to see these five guys hijack a plane?’ They just assume they’ll come because they have no other options,” he said. “This conversation never happens in the reverse. There aren’t people in a room right now, terrified about whether women are going to show up to The Hangover. It’s great that there’s proof that there is a big market — and proof that men want to see this movie about women.”
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