Melissa McCarthy Puts the Boots to Insidious, Entourage
By John Hamann
June 7, 2015
So what went wrong? Spy was certified fresh with a 95% rating, with only seven negative reviews out of a possible 150 – all this with more than a few Melissa McCarthy haters out there. In my opinion, the marketing campaign let this one down, as did the way it was presented to critics. First off, the marketing seemed confused about what they were selling – was this a Melissa McCarthy/Jason Statham action movie? Is there any comedy in this film? Save for a spot where McCarthy gets her scooter stuck in the cement, and the ad played out the entire scene, there were not enough hard laughs in the marketing material.
The campaign seemed to get desperate as the release date approached, but nothing really made me say, "Wow I have to see that." The campaign also ignored the awesome reviews this was getting. The whole thing was odd, and useless, as McCarthy could open a can of corn to a similar amount (see Tammy, which opened to $21.6 million, but opened on a Wednesday, earning $33.3 million over its first five days, with a 23% fresh rating).
In this day and age of social media and a collective consciousness that has a tendency to forget what it had for breakfast, Sony debuted Spy at the SXSW Film Festival in March, and reviews started to roll out from there. The film was 95%+ for four months, removing any razzle dazzle from the lead up to release. By debuting Spy so early, buzz was tougher to come by, especially with the sad sack marketing campaign.
Spy was likely never going to be a $60 million plus opener, but with the approach the studio took, it also eliminated any chance at a $45 million plus opening, leaving it struggling to earn $30 million plus over opening weekend. The budget here is $65 million – a number I see the studio having no trouble with given the B+ Cinemascore – it’s what they are leaving on the table. Opportunity was squandered.
Second is not Insidious Chapter 3, despite winning Friday. Instead the spot goes to San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson’s earth shaking surprise, which debuted to a strong $54.6 million last weekend. After a healthy Monday to Thursday, San Andreas got back to the real work on Friday, pulling in $7.7 million and using its A- Cinemascore to keep things moving. Yes, it was down 58% on Friday, but that could have been much worse, given that it is an effects-filled blockbuster. Over the weekend proper, San Andreas benefitted from an internal weekend multiplier of 3.3 to bring its weekend total up to $26.4 million. That means that The Rock’s disaster film fell a not-bad 52%.
The hold for San Andreas brings its domestic total up to $99,1 million, and it will cross the $100 million mark on Monday, its 11th day of release. This is great news for a film that cost $110 million to make, as audiences seem to be embracing it, and a domestic finish beyond $165 million is definitely in the cards (depending on the chomp Jurassic World takes out of it next weekend). That means that San Andreas is only going to need $135 million or so overseas for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow to see a profit. Given that the blockbuster has already pulled in $60 million, getting to $135 million is certainly not going to be a stretch. The Rock is now a superstar, and it will be interesting to see how his next film, Central Intelligence with Kevin Hart, does when summer comes around again next year.