“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” flew past “The Angry Birds Movie” and “The Nice Guys,” launching impressively with $1.7 million at 2,627 U.S. theaters on Thursday night. Meanwhile, “The Angry Birds Movie” earned $800,000 from 2,804 locations and “The Nice Guys” drew $700,000.
The films are launching against Marvel/Disney’s third weekend of “Captain America: Civil War.” “Neighbors 2,” “Angry Birds” and “Civil War” should top $30 million, making the frame one of the most competitive of the year. “Angry Birds” appears to have the initial edge, set to reel in about $38 million at 3,932 sites.
Warner Bros.’ Russell Crowe-Ryan Gosling action-comedy “The Nice Guys” is pegged to finish at around $10 million at 2,865 screens.
“Captain America” passed $314 million at the domestic box office on Thursday, its 14th day of release. The tentpole declined 59% from its opening for a $72.6 million second weekend — the eighth-best of all time — so a similar decline in its third weekend would leave it around $30 million, while a 50% decline would equate to $36 million.
Universal is releasing “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne, in 3,389 theaters. Chloë Grace Moretz joins the franchise as the reckless leader of an upstart sorority next door to the Rogen-Byrne household.
The original “Neighbors” made $2.5 million during Thursday night previews in 2014, then opened with $49 million in the U.S. on its way to $150 million domestically. An opening in the $33 million to $35 million range appears to be realistic for the sequel.
“Neighbors 2,” which carries a $35 million price tag, kicked off internationally on May 5 and has grossed over $23 million from 34 territories.
“Angry Birds,” playing in 3,932 locations, carries a $73 million budget with Rovio Animation fully financing.
The movie, directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, is set on an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – except for Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), speedy Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride). When the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, the trio has to figure out what the pigs are up to.
“The Nice Guys,” directed by Shane Black from a script he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, is set in 1977 Los Angeles. Gosling plays a bumbling private eye and Crowe portrays a hired enforcer getting to the bottom of a murderous conspiracy involving porn and automakers.
The film premiered Monday at the Cannes Film Festival with strong support from critics. “The Nice Guys” currently has an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes while “Neighbors 2” ranks at 64%.
“Captain America” will cross the $1 billion milestone in worldwide grosses Friday after finishing Thursday with $991 million globally, including $676.6 million internationally.