After Anchorman instantly ascended to cult status when it was released in 2004, for almost a decade it felt like you couldn’t go anywhere near a theater without seeing a broad studio comedy hailing from Judd Apatow and one of his many frequent collaborators. It was during this time that the likes of Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Steve Carrell, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride and Paul Rudd established themselves as the new faces of the genre, with various combinations of Apatow’s troupe co-starring in countless projects.
It was a very fertile period for Hollywood comedy that gave us titles including The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers and many more that didn’t fare quite as well, but one of the them that’s gone on to remain hugely popular among the target demographic is stoner comedy Pineapple Express.
Co-written by and starring Rogen, who has never been shy in proclaiming his love for the green stuff, the setup is basically a 1980s-inspired buddy action flick that just happens to be headlined by two slackers that would rather sit around and get high all day than do anything meaningful with their lives. Pineapple Express was a decent-sized hit at the box office where it earned over $100 million on a $26 million budget, but despite producer Apatow having a great idea for a follow-up, the sequel never materialized.
We did get a meta sequel as part of the gang’s post-apocalyptic comedy This is the End, but Seth Rogen admitted that the Sony hack was a huge factor in why Pineapple Express didn’t lead to further adventures. The buddy comedy is seemingly required viewing for college-age folks these days, and it might end up finding a whole new audience of people that aren’t as herbally-inclined when it arrives on Netflix next month, on September 1st.