Mendes starrer attracts women over 25

Lionsgate-Pantelion’s “Girl in Progress” helped the specialty biz manage an end run around Disney’s “The Avengers” over the sesh (May 11-13), but while Fox Searchlight’s success the previous weekend with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” drew on older auds, “Girl,” which toplines Eva Mendes as a single mom, targeted women.

Lionsgate launched “Girl” over 322 playdates, grossing $1.4 million for a per-screen average of $4,298. The pic narrowly missed the top 10, behind Lionsgate’s “Safe,” which earned roughly the same amount. (That film has cumed $26.7 million after three weeks.)

“Girl” collected an overwhelming 70% of its opening from women. A majority of its audience, 57%, was over 25. The targeted rollout at femme filmgoers managed to play outside the “Avengers” core, but the latter film is broadening its fanbase, particularly among women.

“Girl in Progress” marks the second consecutive hit for Lionsgate’s Hispanic-targeted label Pantelion, after Will Ferrell comedy “Casa de mi padre,” which grossed nearly $6 million domestically.

“Girl” could develop strong word-of-mouth based on its B+ CinemaScore rating. The pic was panned by critics, though most moviegoers have rated it solidly on various websites.

Lionsgate maintained the film’s Stateside location count through the weekend of May 18.

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