‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ box office: Strong overseas opening boosts chances at Golden Globes

“Bridget Jones’s Baby” opened on September 16, bringing the popular British character back to theaters for the first time since “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” in 2004. While absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder stateside, where it picked up just $8.2 million at the weekend box office, placing it behind “Sully” and “Blair Witch,” the British rom-com did much better overseas, taking in just under $30 million for a total haul of $38 million. That boffo box office worldwide combined with solid reviews (60 on MetaCritic and 78% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes) is the kind of  success sure to be appealing to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who hand out the Golden Globes.

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The first film in the franchise, “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” earned both Best Actress and Best Picture bids at the 2001 Golden Globes, which separate comedies and musicals from dramas when handing out those top awards. And Zellweger also reaped an Oscar bid. Though the followup film, “The Edge of Reason,” didn’t appeal to academy voters three years later, she still made the cut at the Globes.

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Globe voters have always loved Zellweger — even more than Oscar voters, who have nominated her three times with a Best Supporting Actress win for “Cold Mountain” (2003). She has reaped six bids from the HFPA and won three: Best Film Comedy/Musical Actress for both “Nurse Betty” (2000) and “Chicago” (2002), and then Best Film Supporting Actress for “Cold Mountain.” Her most recent nomination came exactly 10 years ago when she contended for Best Film Musical/Comedy Actress again for “Miss Potter” (2006), in which she played real-life children’s author Beatrix Potter.

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Zellweger’s “Baby” co-stars are also popular at the Globes. Colin Firth, who has appeared in all three “Bridget Jones” films, won Best Film Drama Actor for “The King’s Speech” (2010). And Patrick Dempsey, new to the franchise, was nominated twice as Best TV Drama Actor for “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-2006).

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