I found this to be an interesting statistic: one of the main reasons audiences went to see Universal’s Knocked Up this weekend was because of Katherine Heigl. According to exit polls, humor was first (80%), story second (43%) and Heigl third (35%, skewing female.) But Seth Rogen was only 6th (18%, skewing to younger males), not far ahead of Judd Apatow (12%). Who should sit up and take notice of Heigl’s big screen sizzle? ABC. Earlier this year, the actress got into quite a pissing match with ABC and Touchstone Television (now ABC Studios) over the fact that her pay as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy wasn’t as big as her other costars, like movie veteran Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington. After a report surfaced that Heigl had dropped out of contract talks, ABC/Touchstone played hardball, announcing that Heigl was obligated “long-term” to stay on the show. “In recognition of her tremendous talent and value to the show, we recently approached Katherine with an offer to raise her compensation significantly above the terms of her current contract. We were surprised to see this gesture reported negatively in the press, and want to reassure fans that she will continue as Izzie Stevens.” Heigl fought back, issuing her own statement: “I am embarrassed that this has become a public matter and disappointed that Touchstone felt it necessary to divulge private employment information. I had hoped I would be able to deal with this issue confidentially with my bosses. I dropped out of the renegotiation simply because I wanted to treat myself with the respect I was not getting from them. No matter how unhappy I am about their decision to respond to this publicly, I continue to be passionate about and committed to this character.” Though Knocked Up‘s $29M box office is a good start, it’s too early to state definitively that Heigl is a movie star.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.