Weekend Box Office: Spy Tops Tepid Weekend

It was another snoozer of a weekend at the North American box office as three new films opened but failed to pull in big numbers. Of the trio, the Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy fared the best with a decent first place finish. Focus’ Insidious: Chapter 3 scared up mild numbers in third and Warner’s Entourage would have done better staying on HBO as evidenced by its weak fourth place start.

A combination of graduations, beautiful summer weather and a mediocre batch of movie offerings helped keep the 2015 box office running in low gear. The top ten was down 19% in comparison to last year at this time when The Fault In Our Stars and Edge of Tomorrow arrived on the scene.

The $30 million brought in by Spy from 3,711 theaters may not have hit the forecasted $35 million opening that 20th Century Fox was hoping for, but it was enough to take the top spot from San Andreas. The R-rated comedy, which stars McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law and Rose Byrne, got great reviews from the press (95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and decent feedback from ticket buyers (B+ CinemaScore rating). Both of these factors should help Spy settle into a healthy summer run. Spy was released overseas two weeks ago where it has earned $56.6 million so far.

Warner’s San Andreas displayed a stronger than usual hold –for a disaster flick- in its second weekend on 3,812 screens. Off 52%, San Andreas shook out an estimated $26.4 million to bring its ten-day total to $99.1 million. The domestic total for San Andreas may reach $150 by the end of its run.

Landing in third place was Focus Features’ cheapie horror prequel Insidious: Chapter 3, which scared up an estimated $23 million from 3,002 screens. The $10 million Blumhouse production received mixed notices from critics (59% on Rotten Tomatoes) but a “B+” from CinemaScore. The film opened at number one on Friday with a little over $10 million before giving up the top spot to Spy. The opening was roughly 41% lower than the $40 million Insidious: Chapter Two nabbed in September of 2013.

This weekend’s third wide opener was Warner’s big screen version of the HBO series Entourage. Proving it was no Sex and The City, the return of Vincent Chase, Ari Gold and pals could only muster a weak $10.4 million from 3,108 screens over the weekend. An additional $7.4 million was brought in from midweek sales. Part of the film’s small opening was due to the fact that the terrible ad campaign failed to expand the fan base. Dire critical reviews (30% RT rating) were of little help as well. Still, if there is a bright spot to be had for the studio it is that the production costs were on the low side: $27 million.

Rounding out the top five was a third Warner release; the action hit Mad Max: Fury Road. With an estimated $8 million from 2,720 screens, a decrease of 44% in business, the George Miller flick has earned a great $131 million after one month. Immortan Joe and the War Boys are still on course to finish near $150 million. Foreign grosses currently stand at $177 million.

The remainder of the top ten:

6. Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal) $7.7 million (-48%); $160 million

7. Tomorrowland (Disney) $7 million (-51%); $76.2 million

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Disney) $6.2 million (-46%); $438 million

9. Aloha (Sony) $3.3 million (-66%); $16.3 million

10. Poltergeist (2015) $2.85 million (-65%); $44.4 million

Next weekend should see the box office come back to life thanks to the arrival of the much-anticipated Jurassic World. The fourth entry in Universal’s Jurassic Park franchise is pegged to have an opening north of $100 million.

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