By Brian Verderosa
Three new releases joined the ranks this week, but only one can claim to have truly been a success. The Angry Birds Movie, which has been in development for over four years, opened to an estimated $39M, just around industry expectations. A mixed 43% Rotten Tomatoes rating didn’t deter audiences from launching themselves into theater seats for the animated feature, which ousted Captain America: Civil War in its third weekend.
Civil War grabbed another $33.1M to put its domestic total at $347M, $15M shy of being the year’s #1 picture (currently held by Deadpool — what a wonderful world we live in!). It also marks the first time in history that three films have totals of $300M or more in the top 10 – War, The Jungle Book ($327M) and Zootopia ($334M). And get this – they’re all Disney properties. Cha-ching!
Opening in third place this week is the well-reviewed-but-not-as-well-as-its-predecessor Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (61% compared to 73%). Unfortunately for the Zac Efron / Seth Rogen sequel, it looks poised to be more Ted 2 rather than 22 Jump Street. The original opened with $49M back in May of 2014, but this gender-flipped sequel (now they are battling a sorority!) scored only $21.7M in its debut weekend. This means $100M is out of the question and a $60M-$65M finish is likely. I guess people had seen that airbag gag too many times to care?
The last of our three new entries is one of this writer’s most-anticipated movies of the year, The Nice Guys. The Shane Black-directed mystery comedy has garnered critical acclaim (90%), and stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have been making the late night rounds doing their shtick and making it work. But R-rated period pieces don’t always translate to box office gold, and this is no exception. Nice Guys came in at $11.2M in just under 3,000 theaters. Perhaps word-of-mouth could edge this one over $40M, but a $30-$32M tally is likely.
Next week, more comic book domination comes our way in the form of X-Men: Apocalypse, and Disney tries to add to their monopoly by building hotels with Alice Through the Looking Glass. What do you think is going to happen next week?