Our Top Story: Cult classic comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” turns 15 this week. The classy film, starring Will Ferrell as a 70s San Diego TV news anchor, opened on July 9, 2004. It earned $28.4 million in its first weekend on a $26 million budget. Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Steve Carell (just one year after “Bruce Almighty”) and a bear rounded out the cast.
“Anchorman” earned a respectable $85 million during its run, and over the next 6 or 7 years, it developed a core following – both from Ferrell and Carell fans and those in the TV news industry. In 2012, Paramount decided to officially green light a sequel. A 60-second teaser trailer for “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” was released that May. It stated at the end that the movie would arrive in 2013.
Exactly a year later, in May 2013, a second teaser trailer was unveiled. And between then and “Anchorman 2”’s release that December 18th, Paramount FLOODED the market. There were constant ads, talk show and sporting event appearances. It was so overwhelming that holiday season that “A2”’s $39.5 million 5-Day open and $127 million total were considered disappointing.
Adam McKay also returned behind the camera for an 80s cable news NYC-set sequel that has some strong, funny elements, but in the years since I’ve seen it, has been a little cold in my memory. I think I still prefer the original, which felt more freeing and less forceful.
Ferrell recently started-up a Ron Burgundy podcast with iHeart Radio, and the character has made some TV cameos over the years. Will there ever be an “Anchorman 3”? My guess is probably not. Still, when you type “Will Ferrell” movies into Google, “Anchorman” is one of the first that appears. It will likely remain one of his fan base’s favorites for the rest of his life.