15 unexpected summer movie hits
Plus: 'Bring it On,' 'The Karate Kid,' 'Babe' and more
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Release Date: August 19, 2005
Box Office: $109.4 million
Why: Before Judd Apatow was at the top of every Hollywood studio's wish list as a producer and/or director, he was just another smart comedy up-and-comer best known for critically acclaimed TV work ("The Larry Sanders Show," "Freaks and Geeks"). His biggest film credits were producing the Jim Carrey disappointment "The Cable Guy" and the Will Ferrell sleeper "Anchorman." Meanwhile, "Virgin" star Steve Carell was merely a big screen supporting player ("Anchorman," "Bruce Almighty"), a former correspondent on "The Daily Show" and the lead on NBC's then struggling "The Office." If "Virgin" did nothing but find a cult audience it would've looked impressive. Instead it became the biggest August release of 2005 and quadrupled its $26 million production budget at the box office. All of a sudden, Apatow and Carell had popped their blockbuster cherries.
- Geoff Berkshire