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In an R-rated comedy showdown, Melissa McCarthy‘s James Bond spoof Spy won the crowded race at the North American box office with $30 million, while Entourage failed to revive the glory days of the hit HBO series.
Coming in a distant No. 4, Entourage earned $10.4 million for the weekend, putting its five-day launch at $17.8 million. While the big-screen adaptation of the hit HBO television series wasn’t expensive, Warner Bros. and HBO Films were hoping for at least $20 million and that the movie version would introduce a new generation of consumers to the franchise, versus just appealing to die-hard fans of the show.
Spy is another solid hit for director Paul Feig, although it came in somewhat behind expectations (most thought it would hit $35 million). The 20th Century Fox film boasts an ensemble cast that stars McCarthy opposite Jason Statham, Rose Byrne and Jude Law. Costing $65 million, the comedy was roundly embraced by critics, while earning a B+ CinemaScore from audiences (females made up 60 percent of ticket buyers). Chernin Entertainment produced Spy alongside Fox.
Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said great reviews will result in a strong hold, and that Spy also has an advantage in appealing to adults. “Laughter does cure all, and there isn’t another comedy in the marketplace for three weeks,” he said.
Overseas, where it began rolling out in Asia two weeks ago, Spy expanded into a total of 54 markets this weekend, grossing $25.6 million for an impressive foreign total of $56.5 million and global haul of $86.5 million. U.K. led this weekend among new openers with $4.1 million.
In terms of McCarthy’s previous openings, Spy beat last summer’s Tammy, which debuted to $21.6 million domestically, but came in behind The Heat, co-starring Sandra Bullock and launching to $39.1 million in June 2013.
Holdover San Andreas, the earthquake disaster film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, continued to be a force of nature in its second outing, coming in No. 2 in North America with $26.4 million for a domestic total of $99.1 million and stunning global haul of $287.1 million. The Warners and New Line title fell 52 percent, less than most movies of this genre.
The weekend’s third new offering after Spy and Entourage was Insidious: Chapter 3, which placed No. 3 with a solid $23 million. Overall, North American box office revenue was down for the third weekend in a row, but Jurassic World should boost the bottom line next weekend.
From Blumhouse Productions and Focus Features’ Gramercy Pictures label, Insidious 3 marks the directorial debut of Insidious screenwriter Leigh Whannell and stars Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Whannell and Lin Shaye. The $10 million film, rated PG-13, earned a B+ CinemaScore.
Spy and Insidious 3 both skewed female, while Entourage played heavily to males (64 percent) who were die-hard fans of the HBO show, which ended four years ago. The film, ravaged by critics but nabbing an A- CinemaScore, opened midweek in order to get a jump on Spy.
Entourage reunites creator Doug Ellin with Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon, and picks up the story just a few months after the events at the end of the HBO show. This time out, star Vincent Chase (Grenier) is directing a big-budget movie for newly installed studio chief Ari Gold (Piven). Entourage played best in Los Angeles and New York.
Warners and sister company HBO Films likely hoped to launch a film franchise with Entourage, much as they did with Sex and the City. In May 2008, the first Sex and the City movie opened to a rousing $58 million in North America, helping to change the way Hollywood viewed the power of females at the box office.
Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warners, said he’s encouraged by Entourage‘s showing, considering one tracking service had suggested it would only open to $12 million. He also noted that making the movie was all about corporate synergy. “It was a great experience working with HBO and we’ll be back, whether it is with Game of Thrones or other things that we’ll put on the big screen. We’ll definitely do this again,” he said.
Overseas, Entourage debuted in its first six markets, grossing $3 million, including a No. 1 finish in Australia with $2.6 million.
Among more limited new offerings, Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy did nicely for Roadside Attractions and first-time director Bill Pohlad, opening to an estimated $2.2 million from 483 theaters for a screen average of $4,601 (Pohlad is well-known in Hollywood as a producer and financier). Love & Mercy, starring John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, nabbed an A- CinemaScore and enjoyed a 42 percent uptick from Friday to Saturday. It will continue to expand in the coming weeks.
Sony Pictures Classics scored the top location average of the weekend with Testament of Youth, which debuted to $53,008 from four theaters for an average of $13,252.
Elsewhere, George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road and Banks’ Pitch Perfect 2 both celebrated milestones this weekend, crossing $300 million and $250 million, respectively, at the worldwide box office.
Conversely, Cameron Crowe‘s Aloha tumbled a steep 66 percent in its second weekend of play in North America, grossing $3.3 million for a domestic total of $16.3 million and falling to No. 9. That’s a career-worst decline for the filmmaker.
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
PITCH PERFECT 2
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
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