One week before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicks off the official summer movie season, the box office was predictably underwhelming. Three new titles debuted but only one, The Other Woman, left an impression. Fox’s female-centric revenge comedy earned an estimated $24.7 million from 3,204 locations to easily lock down first place while fellow new releases Brick Mansions and The Quiet Ones struggled.
|1.||The Other Woman||$24,700,000||$24.7|
|2.||Captain America 2||$16,048,000||$224.8|
|3.||Heaven is for Real||$13,800,000||$51.9|
|7.||The Quiet Ones||$4,000,000||$4|
|10.||A Haunted House 2||$3,265,000||$14.2|
Between the impressive run of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the imminent arrival of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s hard to get too excited about The Other Woman’s $24.7 million debut. It’s not the comedy’s fault, of course. Such are the hazards of launching a non-franchise title on the last week of April. You may get box office bragging right for a week but what does that matter when people are already looking weeks and even months ahead to the summer blockbusters on the horizon? At this time last year, Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain opened in first place with $20.2 million, but the big story was the international roll-out of Iron Man 3. When Tony Stark secured the second-biggest domestic debut of all time one week later, Pain and Gain was essentially forgotten. Given it’s explicit appeal to female audiences, the prospects for The Other Woman may not be that bleak, but that doesn’t change the fact that the film already feels like a footnote.
In terms of opening weekend comps, The Other Woman looks strong. It’s debut was more than twice what Cameron Diaz’s last romantic release, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, earned in May 2012 and was just a bit under the $26.7 million of Bridesmaids. As you recall, the latter went on to become a gigantic hit in the summer of 2011, putting up strong holds week after week against more traditional summer titles like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Thor. That same summer, Cameron Diaz had a hit with Bad Teacher, the R-rated comedy that grossed over $100 million by the end of its domestic run.
Unfortunately for The Other Woman, this weekend is probably as good as it gets. The comedy has a current Rotten Tomato score of 25%, which means that the excellent holds of Bridesmaids (90%) are out of its reach. And while the film’s focus was a selling point with female audiences this weekend, that won’t matter against Spider-Man – the most explicitly romantic superhero on film. The Other Woman has a reported budget of $40 million, which means it has a ways to go before it becomes profitable. Bad Teacher cost half that amount and had better reviews behind it, but hey! At least The Other Woman opened in first place, and neither Bridesmaids nor Bad Teacher can say that!
If the number one movie in America fells like a footnote, the weekend’s remaining new releases barely merit a mention. Brick Mansions, the last feature film completed by the late Paul Walker, at least made into the top five with its debut. The film is from producer Luc Besson, who has made a string of mostly forgettable action-dramas since Taken broke out in 2009. Aside from Taken 2, none of Besson’s titles have found the same level of success and Brick Mansions will prove no exception. In fact, this morning’s estimate of $9.6 million from 2,647 locations makes February’s 3 Days to Kill (co-written and produced by Besson) look like a hit by comparison.
The weekend’s final new release, The Quiet Ones, makes almost all of 2014’s misses look like hits by comparison. The PG-13 horror movie earned an estimated $4 million from 2,027 locations. That’s less than Disneynature’s Bears brought in last weekend from just 1,720 locations. In fact, it is lower than any other major release this year except Vampire Academy, which narrowly edged out The Quiet Ones with a $3.9 million opening in February.
At the opposite end of the box office hierarchy, Frozen reached an important benchmark on Friday when it passed the $400 million mark domestically. The blockbuster is only the 15th film to reach that milestone in its original run and one of only three animated titles on the list.
Also in the $400 million club is the original Spider-Man. That film set a new box office record on the first weekend in May back in 2002 with its debut of $114.8 million – a record that has since been broken many times. Still, the folks at Sony would be thrilled if the sequel to their franchise reboot could get close to that number when Spider-Man returns to summer’s first frame next weekend. The first Amazing Spider-Man opened to $62 million in July of 2012 and went on to gross over $750 million worldwide. For the sequel, the studio is aiming for bigger numbers and, so far, their aim looks good. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already brought in $132 million after ten days in international release and, in terms of its US projection, $100 million still looks likely. Naturally, we’ll keep you posted.