Pineapple Express Much Bigger Hit than Tropic Thunder?
08.19.08 by reelz
On paper, Tropic Thunder's $25.8 million number one opening this past weekend makes it this summer's top comedy, knocking off the previous week's Pineapple Express, which took in $23.2 million.
But when you add in the fact that Tropic Thunder is one of the most expensive comedies of all time, with a production budget of $92 million (according to Box Office Mojo), the big picture changes considerably.
Pineapple Express, on the other hand, sported a streamlined budget of only $27 million. Since its August 6th opening, Pineapple has garnered an impressive $62 million domestic toll. With $65 million less in production budget, the stoner action comedy is far and away the more successful movie. And considering Thunder's likely drop-off next weekend in the 50 percent range, it's unlikely the Ben Stiller comedy will even break even before home video, especially when you add in the flick's massive marketing costs.
Judd Apatow and Co. may seem like goofy stoners, but they have stuck to a shrewd, smart business plan. Their success has easily afforded the temptation to go for a larger budget, but instead they've stuck to the same plan again and again, with every Apatow production thus far landing in the $20-35 million range. The other big advantage here is that the occasional misstep like Walk Hard, budgeted at $35 million, can be recovered without much worry.
With three upcoming projects in production as a producer or director including next summer's surefire hit Funny People (starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen) Apatow's reign as king of comedy isn't ending anytime soon.