Weekend Box Office: At last, Bridesmaids opens the door for women to star in movies
Although there was some concern that American audiences would not accept a female-driven comedy—even one that remembered to hedge its bets by setting it at a wedding, the genesis of all female comedy—Bridesmaids managed to overcome its supposed burdens to open in the No. 2 spot at $24.4 million. The strong debut showing and positive reviews strongly suggests it could become a word-of-mouth hit, particularly if America recognizes that seeing it is, as Salon’s Rebecca Traister put it, our social responsibility, and an opportunity to make a statement about the state of gender politics in the 21st century. Which sure makes it sound like fun. Perhaps Universal should consider putting that on the posters.
Unfortunately, the call to overthrow the patriarchy once and for all was not loud enough to lure people away from the escapist fantasy of Thor, which held onto its No. 1 position by taking in another $34.5 million. Although that’s a nearly 50-percent drop from its debut week, Box Office Mojo points out that the decline is actually much smaller than second-week falls from the likes of Iron Man 2. And having cleared $119 million already, Thor could well be on its way to being the first official “summer” hit—unless Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides manages to swoop in and score $200 million first, of course. That fate seems highly unlikely for the weekend’s only other big opener, the supernatural graphic novel adaptation Priest, which debuted with just over $14.5 million at No. 4 behind the still-strong Fast Five. Although, you can’t really blame the likely confused audiences, who probably thought they already saw Priest when it was called Legion. (Having the same star and director definitely didn’t help.)
As for the limited releases, America confirmed that it likes its Will Ferrell shirtless and screaming—giving the quirky and subdued Everything Must Go just under $4,000 per theater—and its Natalie Portman glamorous, with Hesher scoring just around $127,000 total. And audiences would also prefer their movies to not sound like a motivational video forced on them by their company’s human resources department, turning Lionsgate’s Go For It into the weekend’s biggest loser with a mere $505 per screen. For that amount of money, you could have probably rented out the theater and held your own dance contest instead.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.