'The Internship' Fails at Box Office, But Are Female Buddy Comedies Hollywood's Next Big Thing?
Put two blockbuster comedy veterans in another broad blockbuster comedy starring the world's biggest tech company. Add veteran bland blockbuster comedy director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and a $58 million budget. All signs point to box office millions... right?
Not quite. The Internship, reuniting Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn for the first time since Wedding Crashers, opened fourth at the box office, earning only $18.1 million — far from its expected profits. Money talks, so what is it trying to say?
As far as funding goes, more and more projects are taking the same buddy comedy formula and just switching up the genders of its actors. The highly anticipated buddy cop comedy The Heat, which stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, will premiere at the end of the month. Universal Studios also just won a heated bidding war over Don't Mess with Texas, which stars Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon as a cop and a prisoner on the run.
Hollywood has come a good way since Bridesmaids opened back in 2011. Before then (or, more accurately, before Sex and the City became a blockbuster in 2008), comedies with leading ladies that focused on female friendship were practically unheard of — so unheard of that the release of the movie inspired a months-long debate over women in comedy. Still, The Heat excepted, there's a surprising lack of women headlining summer blockbusters, with television instead picking up most of the post-Bridesmaids slack. (Thank you, Tina Fey and Lena Dunham.)
Hopefully, come The Heat's June 28 release, audiences will help reverse a woman-less summer at the theaters, and projects like Texas will begin to be the norm. After all, audiences have proven that they will see female-led comedies, so the only question left is: What kinds of female-led comedies do they want to see?
We've already crossed off wedding comedies with Bridesmaids, and two impending cop comedies have the standard buddy comedy covered. What's next?