STX Entertainment can claim its first $100M hit with the R-rated raunchy female comedy Bad Moms, which is clicking past the century mark today in the middle of its sixth weekend. The film from The Hangover writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore started at 3,215 theaters on July 29 and debuted to $23.8M in third place, counter-programming Jason Bourne, and is looking to make $6.1M over the Labor Day holiday stretch to bring its domestic total close to $104M.
At the time, tracking had the film higher in the high $20M-$30M range, and Bad Moms settled in the low $20M. However the ensemble comedy starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate and Jada Pinkett Smith has laughed all the way to the bank with a 4.2X multiple and another $35M overseas and climbing. Not bad for a movie that cost an estimated $20M net after tax credits. While big July tentpoles such as Star Trek Beyond and Ghostbusters have fallen out of the top 10 at this point during the Labor Day frame, Bad Moms is still holding in, with weekly modest declines that haven’t exceeded -42%. In regards to Bad Moms’ leg-out factor, exit pollsters have told Deadline that once a film hits with the older female demo, i.e. Bridesmaids, Trainwreck or Magic Mike, audiences just keep coming to the theater.
“Historically, when R-Rated comedies succeed in the summer, they post the strongest multiples regardless of which audience they’re targeting,” explains STX Entertainment motion picture chairman Adam Fogelson. The former Universal Pictures chairman is quite familiar with this genre having nurtured such long-running R-rated summer titles as Bridesmaids ($169.1M domestic), The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($109.4M domestic) and the American Pie franchise ($409.3M domestic).
In an era when low budget comedies can potentially get dwarfed by tentpoles and franchises on a studio’s schedule, Fogelson says that at STX “These types of movies are our tentpoles and we aim to give them the best possible date 52 weeks out of the year.”
In regards to R-rated raunchy comedies at STX, Fogelson adds, “We always saw this area as a sweet spot for the company. Before the success of Bad Moms and after, we were always going to make room for great sellable comedies. This further underscores to the creative community what STX is able to provide; that’s what makes it really meaningful and a great destination for these types of films.”
Originally, Bad Moms was set for Aug. 19, but then STX moved it into a primetime summer slot. The movie was produced by Suzanne Todd and Bill Block. Block provided the cash flow for the movie through pre-production as it found its way to STX, who financed production (they have two slate partners in Huayi Brothers and Tang Media Partners).
Bad Moms was initially sold as a spec package with writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, Judd Apatow on to produce and his actress wife Leslie Mann to star. STX initially lost Bad Moms in a bidding war to Paramount. Creative differences pushed Apatow, Mann and the project out of Paramount, and STX was able to secure the project back with Block who purchased the initial script with his own money.
Bad Moms is STX’s sixth title since kicking off a year ago with the Joel Edgerton thriller The Gift. STX has four titles scheduled through the end of 2016 with Desierto (Oct. 14), TIFF closing teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen (Nov. 18), The Bye Bye Man (Dec. 9) and The Space Between Us (Dec. 21).