That is the question, isn’t it? And the answer is, I’m not sure. I can’t find an answer to that, for the life of me. Best I can tell, and I do not guarantee accuracy, is that these are the highest grossing R-Rated films directed by women:
1. Point Break: $43 million (Kathryn Bigelow)
2. Private Parts: $41 million (Betty Thomas)
3. The Piano: $40 million (Jane Campion)
Surely, I’m missing something, right? Because with the huge success of Bridesmaids ($146 million, so far), and the splashy $31 million opening of Bad Teacher (good for number two this weekend), there has to be better representation among R-Rated female directors, too. Right? Why doesn’t Hollywood trust women with sex and vulgarity? Why did Paul Feig land the Bridesmaids gig, and why did Jake Kasdan get Bad Teacher over women? Where are the raunchy female directors? Gays can marry in New York now, but apparently, women still can’t direct a sex comedy. Get on that, Andrew Cuomo.
The rest of the box office this weekend was largely uneventful. Cars 2 did jump ahead of the competition with $68 million, better than the original’s $60 million, but without as many attendees after factoring in inflation and 3D ticket prices. But, as all the box-office analysts are quick to point out, the domestic total for Cars 2 is almost beside the point when you consider the $1 billion in merchandising Cars 2 expects to bring plus the addition $300 million or so that international grosses will add to the bottom line. I’d grumble more, but after seeing the teaser trailer for Brave, I’m inclined to give Pixar a mulligan.
The Green Lantern, on the other hand, looks to be an unquestionable box-office disaster, after falling to number three this weekend with a steep Watchmen-like 65 percent drop, adding only $18 million. It stands at $89 million now, and while $120 - 130 million is not out of the question, with meek international grosses, the $200 million Green Lantern is looking like a surefire dud. Given its modest $55 million budget, however, Mr. Popper’s Penguins looks like it will land on the right side of the ledger, coming it at number five with $10 million to bring its total to $40 million. Sandwiched between Lantern and Penguins was J.J. Abrams Super 8. It’s already made $95 million on a $50 million budget, but it still feels like this summer’s afterthought.
In the indie world, Tree of Life added 100 theaters and $1.3 million to bring its total close to $6 million, though momentum for the film is beginning to slow. Not necessarily so for Midnight in Paris, which added more than $4 million to push it close to $30 million, the biggest hit for Woody Allen since Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986.
Finally, in 40th place this weekend, Scream 4 crawled over the $38 million mark, still short of its production budget. How’s that planned second trilogy coming along, Wes Craven?