The R-rated comedy vehicle, co-starring Jonah Hill, burst onto the Father’s Day box office scene with a superb $60 million debut, playing equally well with men and women. It’s another example of the power of the female audience (sadly one that’s still needed) and a warning to filmmakers that ignoring this demographic would be to their financial peril.
“That formula really works because you get everybody in the theater,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “Guys don’t feel put out and women don’t feel threatened because it’s all in this comedic wrapper. It sets the stage for men and women to go on a date.”
Indeed, the latest “Jump Street” improved on the gender breakdown of the first film, which opened in 2012 to $36.3 million and an audience that was 53% male and 47% female.
“The default is to say a comedy with two male leads is going to skew male, but the fact that they were able to split it down the middle definitely gave ['22 Jump Street'] a boost,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.
It’s a recipe that pushed “Neighbors” to a $49 million debut, with an audience that was 53% female, and “We’re the Millers” to a $26.4 million bow, with a crowd that was 49% women. Other R-rated comedies that were pitched more aggressively to women, such as “The Heat” ($40 million debut, 65% female crowd) and “Bridesmaids” ($24.6 million debut, 67% female crowd) tipped the scales in one chromosomal direction, but still impressed.
In the case of films such as “Neighbors” and “22 Jump Street,” the aesthetic blessings of stars Zac Efron and Channing Tatum may be partly responsible for their female appeal, Contrino and Dergarabedian argue.
“Obviously Channing Tatum is a big draw for women,” said Dergarabedian. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that they showed up.”
Tatum and the “Jump Street” series may have benefitted most from a romantic drama guys were dragged to by their girlfriends in 2012: “The Vow.”
Co-starring Rachel McAdams, the romantic smash opened to $41 million over Valentine’s Day weekend, less than month before the first “Jump Street” hit theaters, giving the latter a huge boost of femme interest in Tatum, who has since become of the top-performing hunks at the box office.
Yes Hollywood, women have hormones too.