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Melissa McCarthy Outperforms Comedy’s Leading Men. Remind Me Again Why ‘Women Aren’t Funny’?

million dollar lady

We all know that Melissa McCarthy is on a roll– between Bridesmaids, Identity Theft, and now the $40 million dollar opening of her buddy-cop movie The Heat, this lady is on fire.

What you may not know is this: McCarthy is also outperforming her male comedian colleagues and co-stars by millions.

According to comparisons between McCarthy’s recent movies and those of her male counterparts at comparable points in their careers, McCarthy is millions of dollars and one Oscar nomination ahead of male comedians like Will Farrell, Steve Carrell, Jason Bateman, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogen.

Tell me why women “aren’t funny” again? Really. I’d like to know.

Some perspective: Will Farrel’s first big hit, Night at the Roxbury, grossed $30 million in the US. His first film to break $100 million was Elf in 2003. For McCarthy? Bridesmaids earned $169 million and Identity Theft another $135 million– and those are just her first two major films. The Heat made more money in three days than Night at the Roxbury did in it’s entire theatrical run.

With the numbers the way they are, it’s hard to come up with a solid argument as to why there aren’t more lady-centric comedies out on the silver screen. The fact of the matter is that movies like Bridesmaids and The Heat are not only keeping up with the biggest male-fronted flicks out there, but in many ways they are beating them. Half of the moviegoing audience is female, after all, and it’s about time we were acknowledged as liking more than just Rom-Coms and sappy romance stories. Personally, I would rather see Bridesmaids over The Notebook any day; that’s not to say that there aren’t women who would disagree with me, because I know that there are. The point is that women have been marketed to in a very generalized way, and have been presented with very limited options where they can see themselves represented in a positive fashion. There is as much variety of taste in the female market as there is in the male market, and it’s about time the big-budget films playing in national theaters reflected reality.

With the dearth of successful women in the film world, cases like McCarthy stand out as points of progress. It is incredibly exciting to see a woman (and a woman who is not a size two!) getting out there and really taking the comedy scene by storm. She is blazing the way for more women in comedy to come to the fore and take their place next to their male counterparts on the big screen.

So what’s next for McCarthy? She co-wrote and co-directed a movie with her husband, Ben Falcone. The film is called Tammy, and it just finished up principal production in the last few weeks. Adding screenwriter and director to her resume? Yeah, we can get behind that.

(via Indie Wire)

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