Box Office Report: 'Bourne Legacy' No. 1 With $40.3 Mil; 'Campaign' Nabs $27.4 Mil

Universal Pictures

Universal says it has successfully expanded its marquee spy franchise with new leading man Jeremy Renner, but "The Bourne Legacy" opens well behind the previous two pics.

Director Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, featuring a new leading man in Jeremy Renner, easily won the domestic box-office race with a $40.3 million debut.

The weekend's other two new films also turned in solid performances. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis' R-rated comedy The Campaign debuted to $27.4 million, proving a guilty pleasure for voters who need a break from the real-life presidential race.

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Adult dramedy Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell, opened Wednesday and grossed $15.6 million during the weekend for a five-day debut of $20.1 million -- on par with the opening of Streep's Julie & Julia ($20 million) in 2009.

Moviegoing was down slightly from the same weekend last year, in part due to the final weekend of the hugely popular London Olympics. And late-night business continues to suffer in the wake of the July 20 Aurora theater shooting.

Early Friday evening, Universal thought Bourne would hit $45 million, but that figure was revised downward in part because of soft late-night traffic.

Universal's Bourne Legacy and Warner Bros.' Campaign both bested The Dark Knight Rises, which fell to No. 3 after dominating the box office for three consecutive weekends. The superhero tentpole grossed $19.5 million for a domestic total of $390.1 million.

Bourne Legacy is a key test for Universal as it reboots the marquee spy franchise without Matt Damon. It also marks Renner's first turn as a leading man, as well as Gilroy's first turn in the Bourne director's chair (Gilroy wrote the first three films).

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"I'm happy," Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco said. "I think the success of this weekend certainly gives us an opportunity to move forward and strategize about the direction in which to take this franchise."

Bourne Legacy -- costing at least $125 million to make before marketing costs -- will need to do good business overseas, where it opened in 13 smaller countries over the weekend, grossing an impressive $7.8 million and breaking records.

In North America, Bourne Legacy skewed notably older, with nearly 70 percent of the audience over age 30. The film received a B CinemaScore.

Heading into the weekend, Universal cautioned that there was little chance of Bourne Legacy matching the last two films considering it is a reboot. Sequel The Bourne Supremacy debuted to $52.5 million in 2004, while threequel The Bourne Ultimatum opened to $69.2 million in 2007.

Bourne Legacy, co-financed by Relativity Media, did open well ahead of The Bourne Identity ($27.1 million).

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The Campaign, directed by Jay Roach, received a B- CinemaScore. It also skewed older, with 64 percent of the audience over age 25. The film features Ferrell and Galifianakis as political rivals vying to represent their North Carolina district in Congress.

"I was looking for a high of $25 million, so I'm very happy with this opening," Warners president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said. "As the real campaign plays out, we are in an interesting place."

The Campaign cost less than $60 million to produce.

From Sony and MGM, Hope Springs reunited director David Frankel with Streep, star of his The Devil Wears Prada. The pic received a B CinemaScore, with nearly 70 percent of the audience over age 40. More than 65 percent of those buying tickets were female. 

"You couldn't have asked for a better pairing than this cast, and we are really pleased with the opening result," Sony worldwide president of domestic distribution Rory Bruer said.

Sony and MGM paid in the midteen millions for distribution rights to Hope Springs and say they are already on solid financial ground.

At the specialty box office, Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer opened on four screens in the New York and New Jersey area, grossing $42,100 for a per-location average of $10,525. Variance/40 Acres is distributing the film, which expands into six major markets including Los Angeles on Aug. 24.

In its second weekend, Sony Pictures Classics' Celeste and Jesse Forever grossed $134,000 from 18 theaters for a per-location average of $7,472.

Focus Features' Moonrise Kingdom continued to build its domestic gross, which is now a stellar $42.1 million.

Ruby Sparks, from Fox Searchlight, jumped the $1 million mark, grossing $453,000 from 261 theaters for a cume of $1.3 million.