Sandra Bullock Sucker Punches Nia Vardalos in B.O. Championship, Female Lead Division
Look, I liked Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side as much as the next guy, but let's take this Sandy Phenomenon one step at a time. Today both Variety and The Wrap cited Blind Side as "the first film driven solely by a top female star to cross $200 million at the domestic box office." Wow. That's not very nice. Let's go back to 2002 for a minute, preferably with our guide, the real first $200 million woman Nia Vardalos.
That year (2002-03, 52 weeks total to be precise) was when the Vardalos-written and -starring My Big Fat Greek Wedding climbed to a $241,438,208 domestic gross. It never exceeded 2,016 screens, and only held that number for two weeks. Wedding, too, earned Oscar talk for its leading lady -- in the screenplay category, alas, where distributor IFC Films successfully lobbied Vardalos for a nomination. Factor in Wedding's $127.3 million in foreign box office, and it remains one of the biggest independent-film success stories from a performer of either gender in movie history.
Thus one can only assume it was Warner Bros. or Bullock's people or some combination of both who planted the story in the trades, which allowed for every condition in the book to add this pseudo-milestone to the actress's 2009 trophy case. (And also entitled Variety to namecheck distant runners-up Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and, yes, the decidedly non-star Vardalos for good measure.) I mean, The Blind Side would have eventually surpassed $241 million, wouldn't it? Couldn't we have had this coronation at that time, without the insulting qualifiers for Bullock and the mean-spirited class warfare against Vardalos? Oscar gets the picture, already -- and so do the rest of us.
· Sandra Bullock Makes History [Variety]