May 10, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Neighbors” Moves In on Spider-Man


It’s not going to be close, and it doesn’t deserve to be.  Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline and elsewhere, the much-better-than-you’d-expect NEIGHBORS (Universal) trounced THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sony) on Friday, $18M to $10M, and although Spider-Man will recoup some of that with stronger Saturday and Sunday matinees, Neighbors should hold on with around a $45M weekend.  That would make it by far the biggest live-action opening of Seth Rogen’s career (more than double the $20.7M weekend for This Is the End, although that opened on a Wednesday), and in the world of R-rated comedies, that puts it around the start of the original The Hangover, well above the $36.3M weekend for 21 Jump Street, and only 10-20% behind Ted.  As one of the more modestly-budgeted summer movies, Neighbors could become one of the most profitable, especially if it has some international appeal.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wanted a strong hold to make up for its slightly soft opening, but it was merely average for a superhero franchise, its $10M Friday down about 72% from its opening last week.  That compares to a 68% drop for Captain America 2, 71% for Iron Man 3, and 52% for Thor 2.  (Comparisons to the first Amazing Spider-Man don’t work because that opened on a Tuesday.) Amazing 2 will likely have a $35-37M 2d weekend, and is now running around 10% behind Captain America 2 (which made $41.3M in its 2d weekend), suggesting that it’s going to end up with $225M at the US box-office, which would be 15% behind the first Amazing, a disappointment for a franchise chapter that was supposed to make a leap upward this time around.

Those were the only two movies making any real money on Friday.  THE OTHER WOMAN (20th) held well, down just about 37% Friday-to-Friday to around $2.8M, and it should have a strong Mother’s Day, giving it $9-10M for the weekend as it heads to $80M in the US.  HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (TriStar/Sony), RIO 2 (20th/Blue Sky) and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney/Marvel) should all have $5-6M weekends, dropping a small 25-30% from last week.

The weekend’s other openings are going nowhere.  LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN (Clarion) had a Friday under $1M, with a $4M weekend ahead, and the dismally reviewed inspirational comedy MOM’S NIGHT OUT (TriStar/Sony), at only 1044 theatres, is also headed for a $4M weekend.

In limited release, Jon Favreau’s CHEF (Open Road) may end up with a strong $30K+ weekend average at 6 NY/LA theatres, but that number would be heavily boosted by an aggressive series of celebrity Q&As at the evening shows, so it may not mean much in terms of gauging the film’s real appeal.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."