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. Posted 08.19.08 by reelz
In a powerful affirmation of the box-office clout of unemployed stoners, the weed action comedy Pineapple Express yesterday scored the highest-ever Wednesday tally for a movie debuting in August. According to Variety, the Seth Rogen/James Franco buddy flick earned $12.1 on its opening day, besting previous Wednesday record-holder The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement by almost four million bucks. Hats off to the producers of Pineapple Express for breaking a record that, frankly, many of us didn't even know existed.
In related news, convenience store chain 7-Eleven and snack-food conglomerate Frito-Lay both reported unusually high sales yesterday as well. Posted 08.07.08 by reelz
The latest offering from the Apatow crew seeks to combine classic Cheech and Chong stoner humor with heavy doses of camp-action. Does the combination work or is the movie left just -- blowing smoke? We caught up with fans' reactions to Pineapple Express.
See also: our review
Next Tuesday night, August 12th, it's 'welcome to the jungle' with Tropic Thunder. Posted 08.06.08 by reelz
Does this stoner action comedy hold the goods for the sober-minded individual as well as a blissful cult of inebriated moviegoers?
Check out our full Pineapple Express review to find out. Posted 08.05.08 by reelz
Thanks largely to its inclusion in the trailer for Pineapple Express, "Paper Planes," British hip-hop artist M.I.A.'s irresistibly catchy paean to drug use, larceny and other wholesome youth activities, has rocketed to #1 on iTunes. It's welcome news for an artist whose album failed to catch fire when it first debuted in States almost a year ago, despite strong studio backing and near-universal adoration from critics.
Hoping for a similar career boost from Pineapple Express are rockin' '80s bad boys Huey Lewis and the News, who recorded the film's official theme song. It's no "Heart and Soul," but it does contain traces of the magic that their 1983 opus "Sports" go platinum seven times over.
Pineapple Express opens in theaters tomorrow, but don't expect to hear M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" if you see it. The song is only being used in marketing for Seth Rogen's stoner comedy and isn't included on its soundtrack. Bummer. Posted 08.05.08 by reelz
The "weed action comedy" Pineapple Express -- starring Seth Rogen and James Franco -- opens on Wednesday, and our partners at Variety have an early video review.
Here's what critics are saying elsewhere around the web:
"A drug-fueled caper that doesn't stint on chronically loopy characters and ridiculously funny situations."
—Michael Rechtshaffen Hollywood Reporter
"Probably the most artful of the Apatow Factory comedies, but don't worry: It takes being sweetly dumb just as seriously as the rest."
—Bob Mondello NPR
"It's empty and formulaic, with plotting that's lazy even by stoner-comedy standards. Without all the yuck-o sight gags, it would be a huge bummer."
—David Edelstein New York Magazine Posted 08.04.08 by reelz
Pineapple Express is already a proven money-maker, at least for international beat pillager M.I.A. Her song "Paper Planes" can be heard in the Pineapple Express trailer, and thanks to that exposure, it sold 42,000 downloads last week. After the movie opens, we expect to see a similar sales boost for Doritos.
Official "Paper Planes" video on YouTube.
Posted 07.24.08 by reelz
ReelzChannel's own Heather Huntington recently sat down with director-on-the-rise David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls, Undertow) while he was out promoting his latest indie fare, Snow Angels, starring Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell.
The director's next movie, Pineapple Express, is already generating strong buzz (of all kinds) despite the fact that Gordon Green is probably the last guy you'd expect to direct a Judd Apatow stoner comedy. Read it all in our exclusive interview with David Gordon Green. Posted 03.04.08 by reelz
Does next summer's Seth Rogen/James Franco buddy flick Pineapple Express, dubbed a "reefer action comedy" by producer Judd Apatow, have the potential to rank among the greatest stoner flicks of all time? It's not an impossible feat, considering the "competition" consists of such timeless classics as Half Baked and Dude, Where's My Car?
What can fans expect from the latest Rogen/Apatow collaboration? In an exclusive interview with Reelz.com last week, the red-hot writer-director-producer revealed the inspiration for Pineapple Express:
"Years and years ago I watched True Romance and I thought Brad Pitt was so funny as a character who was on crack or meth, and it was only one scene," Apatow recalled. "And I thought, 'I wish this movie followed him out the door.' I thought it would be great to do one of those pot movies, but with the action of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, that looked really good and was also filled with people who were stoned."
Apatow describes the finished product as "this really demented movie that's in the school of Superbad, but also has an enormous amount of action and violence."
Skeptical? Check out the hilarious, definitely R-rated clip from Pineapple Express over at JoBlo.com -- and believe. Posted 12.13.07 by reelz