Word-of-mouth for both genders drive sales

Being bad has brought good midweek biz to Universal’s bawdy “Bridesmaids.”

The R-rated femme ensembler scored a surprise second-place debut this past weekend at the box office. Now, with two days of midweek perfs under its garter, the film is surpassing even weekend champ “Thor” to rank tops in weekday standing.

Thanks to strong female audience turnout, as well as rambunctiousword-of-mouth on both sides of the gender line, “Bridesmaids” earned $3.4 million on Tuesday vs. $3.1 million for “Thor.” Laffer’s winning margin wasn’t as wide on Monday, beating “Thor” by merely $134,300 with a gross that day of just under $3 million.

“Bridesmaids” has cumed $32.7 million domestically; totals for “Thor” stand at $125.4 million after 12 days of Stateside release.

Most female-driven films historically have held up nicely during the summer midweeks, boosted primarily by girl’s-night-out gatherings. Last year, Warner Bros. tried for similar weekday success with “Sex and the City 2,” but was unable to catch “Shrek Forever After” since family films also play well during the week.

While “Sex 2″ benefited from its Memorial Day launchpad with increased theater traffic, not to mention built-in franchise frenzy, “Bridesmaids” still grossed almost the same as “Sex 2″ during the latter’s first non-holiday weekday.

For “Bridesmaids,” the pic’s badly behaving ladies likely has helped it appeal to a broader-than-expected male demo. U said it expected turnout to pick up during midweeks based on positive reviews and word-of-mouth.

And while Disney readies its Friday launch of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” — expected to open boffo with nearly every demo — “Bridesmaids” could still maintain a considerable stronghold among audiences over 30.

That’s good news for “Bridesmaids” — at least until Warner’s “The Hangover Part II” enters the market on May 26.

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