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Weekend Box Office: Neighbors is No Joke as It Tops Spider-Man 2 in Impressive Debut

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By Chris Kavan - 05/11/14 at 07:41 PM CT

There was a good deal to like about Neighbors going into the weekend - but I don't think anyone was expecting something this impressive out of the R-rated comedy. Meanwhile, Spider-Man 2 took the brunt of the brutal beat-down, even if its second weekend was well within line with similar super hero titles. The weekend's other new films couldn't even crack the top five - but it probably wouldn't have mattered that much - the weekend couldn't match the might of last year's Iron Man 2, as the box office trailed last year by nearly $20 million.


There was a lot of buzz surrounding Neighbors - including a hefty marketing push and good critical response. What did that amount to? How about a great $51.07 million opening weekend. That was enough to nearly triple the film's $18 million budget - and puts in near the top of the list for original R-rated comedies. It also represent the best opening for Seth Rogen, easily topping the $33.5 million opening of The Green Hornet. Audiences gave it a "B" - a little on the low end for comedies, meaning its longevity may not hold up to other such films - but it should still have no problem nearing the $150 million mark. Surprisingly females made up more of the audience (53%) than males, probably thanks to Zac Efron and Rose Byrne - and 47% of that audience was under 25. Considering it will be the de facto comedy choice for the near future, it should have a good run - we'll see how it compares to the likes of Ted, Bridesmaids and The Hangover series.


With Neighbors getting the good news, Spider-Man 2 had to settle for second place. The film took a 59.4% dive (in line with fellow hero films Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier - all which fell between 56 to 58% in their second weekends). With another $37.2 million in the bank, the film has now earned $147.9 million - by no means a slouch, but considering it faces much bigger competition in Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past in the coming weeks, it's now looking like it won't top out much about the $210 million mark. The best news for the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that its international numbers are thus far tracking ahead of the first film - and it should wind up well above the $490 million mark that film set.


Even though it faced direct competition in the comedy department from Neighbors, The Other Women held up pretty well, dipping just about 36% in its third weekend. With another $9.25 million added to its total, the female-centric comedy now stands at $61.7 million and is still on pace to cross the $75 million mark in the next couple of weeks. The film will likely double its $40 million budget before it finally exits the scene.


The faith-based drama continued to show strong legs, dropping just under 19% (the best hold of any film in the top 10) and taking in $7 million. That helped the film to a new total of $75.2 million. It still has a chance to cross the $100 million mark - though it is looking likely it may fall just short. Still, this continues to be an impressive showing for the genre.


America's favorite super hero also had a good hold, dropping just 27.7% in its sixth weekend. The $5.62 million it brought it gives the film a new total of $245 million and with that push, it tops My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million) to become the highest-grossing April release on record. It is a foregone conclusion it will top $250 million at this point - though that is likely the last major (domestic) milestone it will be able to reach.

Outside the top five: The week's other two wide-release films failed to gain much traction with audiences. Despite the obvious Mother's Day tie, Moms' Night Out could only scratch up $4.2 million (7th place). The film didn't push its faith-based story - which is strange given the success of such other films this year. So it could only count a modest return, though its modest $5 million budget means there wasn't much on the line.

Things were even worst for the animated Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. With a story that seemed to appeal only to the very young, it was counting on families to boost it and, unfortunately, they weren't won over. With $3.7 million (8th place) it couldn't even top Rio 2 in its fifth weekend ($5.12 million - 6th place) and is likely to burn out quick - lucky to even reach $10 million.

The only other release of not was John Favreau's limited-release Chef, which opened to six theaters with $204,000 - a decent $34,000 per-theater average.

Next week the big monster on the block will be Godzilla (one of my more anticipated movies of the summer, I must say - good for the marketing department on that one!). The other release of note is the feel-good Million Dollar Arm - based on the true story of Indian cricket players recruited to the big leagues by a scout looking to redeem himself. I expect it to open to modest numbers while Godzilla literally stomps the competition flat.


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