Melissa McCarthy Puts the Boots to Insidious, Entourage
By John Hamann
June 7, 2015
Jurassic World can’t come soon enough, as the top 12 films at the box office lagged behind last year for the third weekend in a row (I blame you, Tomorrowland). The box office needs a kickstart, and that’s thankfully coming next weekend.
This is the only weekend between April 17th and July 10th where three openers compete over the same weekend. One of this weekend’s openers got a head start on the rest, as Entourage opened on Wednesday, starting strong as it headed toward the weekend. Friday openers included Insidious Chapter 3, as Jason Blum throws out another cheaply produced horror flick and hopes for the same success as Chapter 2, which opened to $40.3 million back in September of 2013. The film with the best opportunity to break out was Spy, the new comedy with Melissa McCarthy and directed by the current flavor of the month, Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, the upcoming Ghostbuster reboot). Spy had everything going for it – good reviews, a star with a following and a studio with a marketing budget. With the power of these openers, everything should be good at the box office, right? Things are in no way terrible, but I still say Jurassic World can’t come soon enough.
Melissa McCarthy’s Spy is our number one film of the weekend, but it beat last weekend’s number one, San Andreas, by only a few million, and was not number one on opening day, losing out to Insidious Chapter 3. Spy has been sitting at Rotten Tomatoes for months with a fresh rating at extreme levels, and all the talk about the movie was strong. So why, then, is it barely eking out a win over opening weekend?
First, let’s look at the numbers: Spy got started with its Thursday previews and earned $1.5 million. That was the first big "uh-oh" for me. I would understand $1.5 million if it had been a true midnight opener, but Sony started showing Spy at 5 p.m. on Thursday, giving it a full screening more that Insidious Chapter 3 (showings started at 7 p.m.). However, Spy even lost that race, as the Jason Blum threequel earned $1.55 million. Spy also lost the Friday race, whether we include the Thursday preview amount or not.
On Friday, Spy earned $10.25 million, good for second place again behind the Insidious prequel, and while the opening day was better than Tammy, it couldn’t match The Heat ($13.7 million first day) or Identity Thief ($11.1 million on a February weekend), McCarthy’s last two big films. Still, it was able to conquer Insidious Chapter 3 over the rest of the weekend, finishing the frame with a weekend total of $30 million from a massive 3,711 screens. Given the reviews and the track record of the star (McCarthy opened The Heat to $39.1 million and Identity Thief to $34.6 million), this result simply isn’t good enough; however, Spy may leg it out over the long haul (but I am leaning on the word may). It doesn’t have to deal with any serious comedy contenders until June 26th when Ted 2 opens, but will live in the massive shadow cast by Jurassic World next weekend.