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'The Heat' Spotlights the Female Moviegoing Market ... Again

After The Heat’s success, everyone’s talking about producing more movies for women. Will any of them get made?
'The Heat' Spotlights the Female Moviegoing Market ... Again
Photograph by Gemma La Mana/2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

In the peak of the summer movie season, a film opening in second place with a $39 million weekend isn’t really news. But when it’s a rare female-targeted blockbuster, like the buddy-cop comedy The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy—and it’s followed by The Lone Ranger, which bombed at $29 million—Hollywood gets pretty excited. “Funny ladies can open movies!” tweeted Heat director Paul Feig on June 30. “Got it, Movies?”

A sequel to The Heat was announced even before the film opened, when it was clear the movie was tracking for a big release. Feig has also said he’s looking for a star for his “female James Bond” comedy Susan Cooper and has teamed up with Chernin Entertainment to create a mother-daughter comedy. Meanwhile, McCarthy, who’s becoming one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars—Identity Thief, which she starred in earlier this year, made more than $134 million domestically—has wrapped shooting the road-trip comedy Tammy, which she co-wrote with her husband, Ben Falcone.