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How Female-Driven Comedies Perform at the Box Office

"Rough Night" seems destined to break box office records, but the film still faces steep competition from the highest-grossing female-driven comedies.

“Rough Night”

Columbia Pictures

Female-driven comedies have been doing big business at the U.S. box office for decades, but all too often, Hollywood studios hire male directors to tell these women-led stories. When “Rough Night” hits theaters on Friday, June 16, it will be the first big-studio hard-R-rated comedy to be directed by a woman in nearly 20 years.

READ MORE: ‘Rough Night’ Trailer: Scarlett Johansson Has the Ultimate Bachelorette Party in Female-Driven Comedy — Watch

The feature directorial debut of Lucia Aniello, known for her work behind the camera on Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” the movie centers on five friends who reunite in Miami for a bachelorette party and accidentally kill a male stripper. That’s when things go from bad to worse.

With an all-star cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer and Kate McKinnon, the movie is expected to make a major splash at the domestic box office this weekend, but to earn a spot on the list of the 15 highest-grossing female-driven comedies in the U.S., it will have to take in slightly more than $128 million. To displace the most successful film on this list directed by a woman — Elizabeth Banks’ “Pitch Perfect 2” — “Rough Night” will have to make nearly $190 million.

“Rough Night”

In the film’s official press notes, Aniello explained why she thinks bringing a female perspective to this story was so essential. “[I]t’s obvious that there’s been a dearth of stories told from the perspective of women, especially in the comedy world,” said the filmmaker. “Nothing against the R-rated comedies directed by men – but it does feel like the authenticity of a woman’s point of view can only make the female characters feel that much more authentic.”

READ MORE: Rachel Weisz On the ‘Vivid’ and Unexpected Feminism of Her Gothic Thriller ‘My Cousin Rachel’

Check out our list of the 15 highest grossing female-driven comedies in the U.S. here.

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