'Blind Side' first female-led film to cross $200 mil
Sandra Bullock rang in the new year making box office history.Some time over the weekend, Bullock starrer “The Blind Side” became the first pic in history driven solely by a top female star to jump the $200 million mark at the domestic B.O. To be precise, the film finished the frame with a cume of $208.5 million in its seventh week in release. Over the weekend, it rose a remarkable 10% over the previous week, and it’s still got plenty of life left, according to Warner Bros. prexy of domestic distribution Dan Fellman. “Blind Side” was fully financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment. The project was brought in by Molly Smith, daughter of Alcon backer Fred Smith, founder of FedEx. It’s hard to believe, but none of the previous films in which Bullock had top solo billing had reached $200 million, nor have any of the solo starring efforts of the likes of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie or Reese Witherspoon. But indeed, none had, according to Fellman and other box office observers. Roberts’ “Erin Brockovich” — the film most often compared with “Blind Side” — grossed $125.6 million domestically. Streep’s “The Devil Wears Prada” fashioned $124.7 million at the domestic B.O. The only femme-driven film that jumped $200 million domestically was romantic comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” the 2002 indie hit starring then-unknown Nia Vardalos and “Northern Exposure” star John Corbett, which earned $241.1 million domestically. Bullock’s accomplishment is part of a gender revolution at the domestic box office. Until recent hits like the “Twilight” pics and “Sex and the City,” Hollywood studios thought only fanboys could generate big grosses, not femmes. (At the same time, it’s not lost on distribs that the top-grossing film of all time, James Cameron’s “Titanic,” was probably fueled by women who saw the movie numerous times.) Some femme-driven films have found more love overseas. Musical “Mamma Mia!,” with a cast led by Streep, grossed $144.1 million domestically and a massive $465.7 million overseas. (Pic is Streep’s top grosser at the domestic B.O.). Romantic comedies have long been a studio staple domestically, but even the more successful ones usually generate grosses in the $100 million-$130 million range. Roberts’ “Pretty Woman” scored a bit higher, with an estimated $178.4 million domestically. Bullock had an exceptionally successful year — except for the little-seen “All About Steve” — with another box office hit in “The Proposal.” Bullock starred opposite Ryan Reynolds in the romantic comedy, which grossed $164 million domestically. “And we’re not even done. I think ‘Blind Side’ has another $30 million left,” Fellman said. In all, Bullock’s films have grossed north of $1.72 billion domestically. That compares with $2.31 billion for Roberts, $1.54 billion for Streep and $1.44 billion for Jolie. Any way you look at it, it’s not bad company.