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Michael Patrick King

Comedy Impact Report '08: Bigscreen Big Shots

Chick flicks aren’t supposed to inspire multiplex mobs. Then again, Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Sex and the City” wasn’t a chick flick. “It is a female blockbuster,” says Michael Patrick King, who wrote and directed. “Maybe the first.”

Based on the uninhibited Emmy-winning HBO series King had helped build from the Candace Bushnell bestseller, the bigscreen “Sex” blew away expectations, as well as “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” with a $26.8 million opening day. The debut fueled a $57 million opening weekend, the biggest ever for a romantic comedy and the fifth-biggest for an R-rated movie.

By the end of its theatrical run, “Sex” (which reunited the small-screen cast of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon) had grossed $152.6 million — for a worldwide total of $410 million — and inspired copycat campaigns for “The Women” and “He’s Just Not That Into You,” though those films didn’t have the built-in awareness of a hit show on their side.

“You hadn’t seen (the characters) in four years, so my main thrust as a writer was to give you everything: comedy and tragedy and New York and style,” says King, who is now in talks with Parker for a sequel.

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