BOX OFFICE

Funny People Doesn't Cut It

Though Funny People topped the box office, bringing in $23.4 million over the weekend, the movie is a disappointment for both Judd Apatow and Universal Pictures, who were banking on a blockbuster. The two-and-a-half-hour dramatic comedy, following the life of a dying comedian, cost about $75 million to make, an increase from what Universal spent on Apatow's earlier movies, The 40-Year-Old-Virgin and Knocked Up, which were both smash hits. Much was riding on the success of Funny People: Films that flopped like Land of the Lost and Drag Me to Hell have cost Universal this summer. But the studio is backing the much-hyped director. “It was a pleasure to be supportive of Judd’s move into a more serious and dramatic kind of film,” said Universal’s president for marketing and distribution. “No regrets.” Apatow signed a three-picture deal with the studio last week.