We’re a little baffled to see the articles bemoaning the sad fate of Melissa McCarthy in Tammy over the 4th of July weekend. The official story seems to be that a lot of bad reviews and poor box office means McCarthy now needs a major comeback vehicle. The truth is…well, it’s sure the opposite of what you’re reading about Tammy.
Tammy is exactly what it looks like on the screen. Melissa McCarthy and her actor/director husband got together to make a quirky character study about a trashy gal who takes a road trip with her alcoholic granny and learns some important life lessons. The only problem was that Melissa McCarthy was coming off the improbably huge hits of Identity Thief and The Heat. There was no way that Warner Bros was going to let McCarthy make a humble indie film without getting a shot at mainstream money.
So what you get with Tammy is a quirky indie comedy that got a major release once Melissa McCarthy agreed to include broad comedy that would look good on the film’s trailer. Tammy is a pretty interesting failure because it’s a schizoid movie–but the film also made very close to $33 million by July 6th, all while surviving the worst July 4th box-office take since 1987. [EDIT: Did we mention that Tammy is an R-rated comedy? Yeah.]
That’s on a budget of $20 million. Throw in marketing costs, and Tammy is still coasting towards a comfortable profit against all odds. The hackety-hack entertainment reporters are still going with the notion that Tammy is a disappointment, but Warner Bros is feeling like it just dodged a huge bullet while appeasing the artistic instincts of a major talent.
Meanwhile, Melissa McCarthy has St. Vincent coming up as another shot at indie cred that’ll probably be less embarrassing than Tammy. That’s okay. As is Tammy, but, yeah, the movie is also pretty irritating. Mostly because nobody would know all the words to “Midnight Rider” without being familiar with Duane Allman.