Los Angeles, May 31: The "Hangover", "Kung Fu Panda" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels were no-brainers.
But only a handful of box-office analysts would have predicted a relatively low-budget, female-lead original comedy to give them a run for their money at the Memorial Day-weekend box office.
Enter "Bridesmaids," which pulled in another $16 million this weekend and, in just three weekends, has amassed nearly triple its production budget, and shows little sign of slowing down.
The comedy, starring and co-written by "Saturday Night Live" actress Kristen Wiig, follows the trials, tribulations and triumphs of a group of bridemaids-to-be.
The secret of the film's success? An original script spinning around an ensemble of smart, funny women. "It's not like the scripts that exist," said co-star Melissa McCarthy. "When is the last movie you've seen with six really funny women where they're not acting like 13-year-old girls, fighting over who's prettier?"
Among those characters: a rough, tough earth mother played by McCarthy.
“You know, I have a real fascination with eccentric women,” McCarthy said. “I'm from the Midwest and I love those women who are solid in their shoes, like, ‘take it or leave it,' ‘here's what I am,' you know, ‘I have 14 dogs in my truck.' I just love those women who are marching to their own beat and are unapologetic for it. And there's all different shades of those women. And, you know, those women are real. Megan's based on a couple of different people I know, put together, and I've had a lot of people say, ‘Look, I have an aunt' or ‘I have a cousin.' For me, she's like a really real person and I hope I was able to take her as far as I could go, but just still keep her real.”
McCarthy is coming off a successful first season as one of the two stars of the sitcom “Mike and Molly,” in which the titular characters have just got engaged. Will that change the show's dynamic?
“They're so great about not rushing stuff. And I don't know, because I don't have the scoop on what's coming, but know (show creator) Mark Roberts' and (executive producer) Chuck Lorre's sensibilities, it's not going to be, two dates in, two shows in second season, we're married. I think it's going to be a long, messy, complicated engagement. I think they're good about really taking their time with stuff,” she said.
McCarthy has enjoyed TV successes for years, as a cast member of “Gilmore Girls” (2000-2007) and “Samantha Who?” (2007-2009), but, no doubt, with “Mike and Molly” and “Bridemaids” she's at a popularity peak.
The actress is hoping every detail will stay with her.
“I hope I remember, just how—to love what you're doing that much, and to have the response be other people loving it, is really overwhelming. Most people, I think, in this business—I did 10 years of free plays that probably friends and family were the only ones coming to see. So, you work so hard at stuff and you hope people like it and when you really get a response, and the response to ‘Mike and Molly' and to ‘Bridesmaids' has been so overwhelming, you kind of just take it in and really be grateful and remember to be grateful.”
“Bridesmaids” has already opened in the United States, Canada, Romania and Slovenia. AP