Women Make Good at the Box Office

May 16, 2011 6:17 AM

Bridesmaids writers and female cast

It’s written by two women, female-driven, R-rated and yet, Bridesmaids still surpassed box-office expectations in its opening weekend, pulling in a domestic $24.6 million and coming in second only to Thor. Directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, it stars and was co-written by SNL‘s Kristen Wiig, who went from waiting tables for Universal Pictures in their commissary to making them millions.

Her Bridesmaids co-writer was Annie Mumolo (above second from left, playing a small role in the movie), fellow alumi of LA improv group The Groundlings. (A quick glance at their alumni page boasts Maya Rudolph, who also stars in the film, Ana Gasteyer, Cheryl Hines, Cheri Oteri, Kathy Griffin and Lisa Kudrow, not to mention male counterparts like Will Ferrell, Phil Hartman, Chris Kattan, Will Forte and Chris Parnell. Note to all hopefuls that next session registration is today at 10am.)

Judd Apatow, patron saint of comedy writers, asked Kristen to write a film for him after she made memorable appearances in his films Knocked Up and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Of her first meeting with Apatow to pitch Bridesmaids, co-writer Annie told Screenrant.com:

It’s so funny because I had no idea at the time that I was ‘pitching a movie.’ Kristen called me because she was in New York and she said ‘can you just go in and tell him what it is’ and I was like, ‘sure.’ So I went in and he was editing “Knocked Up” at the time and I was like ‘Oh he’s actually…he’s…this guy’s like for real.’ So I told him the story and the next day we thought maybe we wanted to change our minds. So we thought we would tell him the other one and he was like, ‘Oh no, I already sold the other one to Universal so…’ It was very fast. That part of the process, that initial thing was the quickest part. That was 2006 and now its 2011.

The five years of work were worth it. Kristen told the LA Times, “We wanted to write a comedy, not a female comedy, just a comedy that has a lot of women in it…There’s a difference.” The number of men that turned out to the box-office and the hard laughs of the men I went with would imply that they succeeded. Bridesmaids is not romantic comedy-cute. It’s brash and dirty and awkward and disgusting and over-the-top in all the very best possible ways. It’s also funny in the way a movie can only be if you actually care about and like the characters. It’s quite long – 2 hours and 5 minutes – which allows for real story development and although there were a couple of scenes that bordered more on SNL-sketch and didn’t really ring true to the characters, the movie successfully engages you in the highs and lows of it’s down and out main character, Kristen Wiig’s Annie, and the motley crew bridal party.

I laughed just as much, if not more, than I have at any Judd Apatow movie, and I definitely cried more. I don’t think that’s because it was a chick-flick, but because it was really good.

Read more about Kristen and Annie and Kristen’s odd job days of serving the same execs that eventually greenlit Bridesmaids in her interview with the LA Times.

Check out this fun tool for putting yourself and your girlfriends in the Bridesmaids trailer.



Although it wasn’t as good as Bridesmaids, Something Borrowed also did pretty well last week in it’s opening weekend, taking in $13.2 million. Based on the books by Emily Giffin, starring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin and produced by Hillary Swank and Molly Smith’s 2S Productions, this movie is romantic comedy-cute but the subject matter – should you betray your BFF and have an affair with her fiancé if you’ve always been in love with him and you think he’s in love with you and anyway, she kind of stole him from you in the first place – is a little edgier and thought-provoking and we’re glad that the ladies at 2S will have even more clout and get more of their projects up on the big screen. Two more Emily Giffin books, the lifestyle book French Women Don’t Get Fa” and the drama You’re Not You about a woman suffering from a terminal illness and her caregiver (Thelma and Louise meets Dying Young?) are just some of the projects they’ve got in development.


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