Melissa McCarthy's 'Spy' clocks The Rock's 'San Andreas' with $30 million at box office
Melissa McCarthy's R-rated "Spy" captured the top spot at the North American box office this weekend with its $30 million debut, dethroning the earthquake epic "San Andreas" and holding off Jason Blum's micro-budget horror sequel "Insidious: Chapter 3" and the big-screen version of the HBO TV hit "Entourage."
While the debut for "Spy" was enough to hold off Dwayne "The Rock"Johnson's disaster saga, which was second with $26.4 million, third-place "Insidious" which scared up $23 million and "Entourage," which debuted with $17.8 million for five days, it wasn't the box-officebreakout some had expected for the raunchy comedy from McCarthy and director Paul Feig.
McCarthy's "Spy" opening is better than that of "Tammy," which opened to $21.5 million last July, and "Bridesmaids," which debuted with $26 million in May of 2011, but it didn't bring the heat of "The Heat," her buddy cop comedy with Sandra Bullock. That one was also directed by Feig, produced by Chernin Entertainment and distributed by Fox like "Spy," and opened to $39 million in June of 2013.
"San Andreas" and the two wide openers – the first release of Focus Features' niche label Gramercy Pictures, "Insidious 3," and Warner Bros.' "Entourage" – delivered as expected. But with "Spy" coming in under the projections of analysts, the overall weekend was down from last year for the third consecutive week, this time by 17 percent.
It's probably nothing that Universal's "Jurassic World" — which is expected to top $100 million when it debuts Friday — won't cure, but this wasn't the sort of weekend that will help 2015 break a summer record, as many analysts believe it will.
No one at Fox was too worried about "Spy." It added $26 million from abroad, which means that globally, it took in $20 million more than its $65 million production budget in its first three days.
"There's never a replacement for a great comedy, and I think that's what we have here," said Chris Aronson, Fox's distribution chief. "One of the reasons we moved to this date (from the Memorial Day weekend) was to take advantage of the mid-week days now that school is out and the coming weeks, and I think Melissa and Paul have put us in a great position to do that."
McCarthy's movies typically have strong legs and "Spy," which co-stars Jason Statham and Jude Law, is very well-reviewed and at 94 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience — which broke down 60 percent female and 65 percent over the age of 25 — gave the comedy a "B+" CinemaScore.
"Insidious: Chapter 3" was nearly a win going in because of its under-$5 million budget. Low costs, a big first day – it was No. 1 ahead of "Spy" on Friday – and an audience dominated by young women and Hispanics is a winning strategy that Blumhouse Productions has employed repeatedly to score with horror hits, and it worked again.
The audience was 54 percent female and nearly 70 percent under the age of 25, and they gave"Insidious" a solid "B+" CinemaScore. Horror fans are notoriously hard graders and it's at a decent 59 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes, so it could break the pattern of most genre offerings and not drop off the table next week.
Leigh Whannell wrote and directed this installment after writing the first two films, which were directed by his pal James Wan, who is producing with Oren Peli and Blum. Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott and horror veteran Lin Shaye star.
More to come ....