Comedians' Little Secret

With hit after cut-rate hit, funny guys are the new movie studs Comedians' Little Secret

Art Streiber / Universal

Steve Carell seen here as Evan Baxter from the film EVAN ALMIGHTY .

A tale of two movies. On the first weekend in June, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End led the North American box office with $44 million. In second place was the no-star comedy Knocked Up, at $30 million. Which number made Hollywood happier? The second, because the budget of the Judd Apatow comedy was also in the $30 million range, about a tenth that of Pirates. And as word of mouth goosed Knocked Up's weekday grosses past Pirates, the film also certified its leading man, Seth Rogen, as a new comedy star. First law of movie economics: an action epic...

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