In an era of anemic star power, Melissa McCarthy has defied the trend by consistently packing a box office wallop.
The comedienne will once again flex those muscles this weekend when “Spy,” a critically adored send-up of the espionage genre, debuts to roughly $35 million across approximately 3,650 theaters. That should be just enough to push “Spy” past another star-driven vehicle, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s “San Andreas,” which should bring in $26 million after snagging first place at the box office last weekend with a smashing $54.6 million bow.
“Spy” reunites McCarthy with her “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” director Paul Feig and co-stars Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham. Both of McCarthy’s previous Feig collaborations were big summer hits, and the actress was even able to push the mediocre “Tammy” to more than $100 million globally.
Fox is releasing the $65 million “Spy,” and Chernin Entertainment produced the story of a hapless CIA agent who finds herself abandoning her desk job for a chance to track terrorists across Europe. No matter what the final number is come Monday, the studio thinks “Spy” will benefit from strong word of mouth and its 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Entourage” proved to be reviews proof after kicking off to a surprisingly robust $2 million latenight debut on Tuesday. The bros in the Hollywood bigscreen continuation of the HBO series have been target practice for film critics, who have relished in throwing shade at the ongoing saga of Vinnie Chase’s charmed life in Tinseltown.
The Warner Bros. release was produced for under $30 million and should pull in north of $20 million for the five-day period. That’s stronger than early tracking suggested “Entourage” would be able to pull off.
That leaves one other new wide release vying for space. “Insidious: Chapter 3” should bow to $25 million when it premieres in over 3,000 U.S. theaters. The horror film is being released under Focus Features’ Gramercy Pictures label, and stars Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott. Blumhouse produced the film using its micro-budget, no-frills or unnecessary condiments at craft service, model.
In the arthouse scene, Roadside Attractions will field the Brian Wilson biopic “Love and Mercy” and Sony Pictures Classics will unveil the World War I coming-of-age drama “Testament of Youth.”