15 unexpected summer movie hits
Plus: 'Bring it On,' 'The Karate Kid,' 'Babe' and more
Bring It On
Release Date: August 25, 2000
Box Office: $68.3 million
Why: For those who haven't heard, there is a term in Hollywood known as a "dump date." It's traditionally a release date during the second half of August (the last weeks of summer) or the beginning of January where studios drop films they don't think are very good or don't test well. There are always exceptions, but you rarely land a hit opening on one of these dates. So, when Universal Pictures placed their under-the-radar cheerleading comedy "Bring it On" on August 25, 2000 there weren't many in the industry who thought much of it. Sure, the trailer was fresh and funny and featured the memorable "You better bring it" line, but films just didn't make money that time of year. Shockingly to their competitors, Universal got lucky. The film spoke directly to two under served moviegoing audiences at the time: suburban, middle-American teenage girls and African-American teenage girls. The cheerleaders were also sexy enough that the boyfriends of these young ladies didn't mind tagging along opening weekend. It also didn't hurt that "Bring It On" actually landed solid reviews and opened to a startling $17 million. Less than two months later it had turned into one of Universal's most profitable hits of the year and a pop culture phenomenon.
- Gregory Ellwood