Marvel/Disney’s third weekend of “Captain America: Civil War” faces serious competition this weekend at the U.S. box office from two new comedies — Sony’s “The Angry Birds Movie” and Universal’s “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”
Each of the trio should top $30 million, making the frame one of the most competitive of the year with “Angry Birds” appearing to have the initial edge with about $38 million. Warner Bros.’ launch of a third comedy, Russell Crowe-Ryan Gosling’s “The Nice Guys,” is showing only moderate traction and is pegged to finish at around $10 million.
“Captain America” cracked the $300 million domestic milestone on Monday, its 11th 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.
“Angry Birds” debuted with $43 million in 74 international markets last weekend. The film, which carries a $73 million budget with Rovio Animation fully financing, opens at more than 3,900 locations.
The avians will have the family market to their selves until Disney releases “Finding Dory” on June 17. The Angry Birds brand already has worldwide awareness thanks to the massive penetration of its video games.
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, it’s up to the trio to figure out what the pigs are up to.
Universal is releasing “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” in about 3,382 theaters with Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne in the follow-up to the successful 2014 original comedy. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as the pot-smoking leader of an upstart sorority that’s largely interested in the right to party.
Nicholas Stoller returns to direct. The film is produced by Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver under their Point Grey Pictures banner.
“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” has generated solid awareness, particularly among younger audiences of both genders. The original opened with $49 million in the U.S. on its way to $150 million domestically, so an opening in the $33 million to $35 million range appears to be realistic.
The film, which carries a $35 million price tag, kicked off internationally on May 5 and has grossed $21.4 million from 34 territories.
“The Nice Guys,” directed by Shane Black from a script he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, is set in 1977 Los Angeles with Gosling playing a private eye and Crowe as 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 with a current 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Nice Guys” is opening at more than 2,900 U.S. locations and will need strong word-of-mouth to attract enough moviegoers make the $50 million project profitable. Warner Bros.’ financial exposure, however, is limited as it acquired only domestic distribution rights.
“Nice Guys” re-teams Warner Bros. with Black and producer Joel Silver, both of whom rose to prominence nearly three decades ago via the “Lethal Weapon” franchise. It’s the first major movie that Silver’s produced for Warners since splitting with the studio four years ago.