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Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Spy’ Dominating Early Box Office

Melissa McCarthy is back on top at the box office: 20th Century Fox’s new comedy “Spy” is headed for a $35 million opening weekend at 3,711 locations, according to early estimates.

Friday forecasts pegged “Spy” at $12 million for its first day, in line with recent forecasts. Reviews have been stellar with a 94% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Spy” marks the third time that Paul Feig has directed McCarthy, following 2011’s “Bridesmaids” and 2013’s “The Heat.” The comedy looks likely to deliver profits for the studio, given McCarthy’s demonstrated drawing power. Chernin Entertainment produced “Spy,” which also stars Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham, for $65 million.

McCarthy stars as a deskbound CIA analyst forced into the international world of secret agenting.

Early numbers looked solid for Gramercy’s debut of “Insidious: Chapter 3,” which is on target to scare up a respectable $10 million on Friday for a weekend in the $21 million to $24 million range. The horror vehicle, produced by Jason Blum’s micro-budget leader Blumhouse along with Oren Peli and James Wan, is playing at 3,002 locations.

The first “Insidious” opened in 2011 to $13.2 million on its way to a $54 million total in the U.S. “Insidious: Chapter 2” launched with $40.2 million in 2013 and wound up with $83 million.

Insidious: Chapter 3” will be battling Warner Bros.’ second weekend of Dwayne Johnson’s “San Andreas” for second place. “San Andreas” finished its first week with a solid $77.6 million in the U.S. It will reel in about $7 million on Friday for a $25 million weekend.

Should the “San Andreas” estimate hold, the disaster movie will cross the $100 million mark by Sunday.

Warner Bros.’ “Entourage” got an early start on the weekend, grossing $7.4 million at 3,058 sites on Wednesday and Thursday — with more than 70% of that on its opening day.

Early afternoon estimates placed the bigscreen version of the HBO series with about $5 million on Friday. It’s expected to take in another $13 million this weekend.

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