Universal’s opening of “Neighbors” grossed $19.6 million – almost twice as much as Sony’s second weekend of “Spider-Man 2,” which earned $10.1 million. The raunchy comedy is now on track for a $49 million-plus weekend, far ahead of “Spider-Man 2’s” lower-than-expected estimated $37 million.
The pic is also No. 1 in 16 of the 29 international territories where it opened this weekend, including the U.K., Ireland and Australia. “Neighbors” earned $14.7 million from the three aforementioned markets and will open in 26 more territories in the next few months.
The $18 million hard R-rated pic from director Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) stars Seth Rogen as a new father and Zac Efron as a fraternity president involved in a tit-for-tat war of pranks.
“Neighbors” has nearly matched in a single day the opening of Rogen’s last movie, “This Is the End,” which debuted to $20.7 million last June. The movie looks to more than double that figure by Sunday. “This Is the End” went on to earn $101 million domestically ($126 million worldwide).
“Neighbors” was produced by the “This Is the End” team of Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also directed the star-studded comedy, as well as James Weaver.
Meanwhile, Efron’s last pic, the R-rated rom-com “That Awkward Moment” launched to $8.7 earlier this year and earned $26 million domestically.
“Neighbors” is more on par with Universal’s 2012 surprise hit “Ted.” It sold more advance tickets on Fandango than any R-rated comedy since “Ted.” The Seth MacFarlane movie opened to $54.4 million Stateside and ultimately hauled $218 million domestically ($549 million worldwide). “Neighbors’” Fandango advanced ticket sales nearly doubled “This Is the End’s.”
The laffer, which is playing in 3,279 theaters, premiered at SXSW in March. “Neighbors” has received strong reviews, earning a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” sequel soared at the box office last weekend when it bowed to $91.6 million. The blockbuster launched the official summer box office season.
If the superhero pic ends up earning $37 million this weekend, it will mark a 60% drop through Sunday and raise its 10-day cume to a solid $147. Last year, “Iron Man 3” fell 58% in its second weekend, yet went on to become the summer victor.
Another raunchy com, “The Other Woman,” came in third on Friday in its third weekend. Fox’s femme-empowering film made $2.8 million on Friday and is headed for a $9.5 million weekend.
Sony-TriStar’s Christian comedy “Mom’s Night Out” opened to $1.25 million at 1,044 locations. The female-centered family film starring Patricia Heaton will likely earn between $4 million and $5 million for the weekend by playing to the Mother’s Day moviegoing crowd.
Its’s up against the studio’s other faith-based pic, “Heaven Is for Real,” which came in fourth with $1.7 million on Friday and looks to reel in $6.4 million by Sunday.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” rounded out the top five with $1.5 million on Friday. It’s headed for a $5 million-plus weekend.