“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss” are locked in a battle for U.S. box office supremacy, with each projected to reap $23 million this weekend, according to early estimates Friday.
Updated forecasts showed Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “Batman v Superman” coming in slightly under recent projections of $25 million and Universal’s launch of “The Boss” set to finish slightly above the $21 million consensus. Both films have been battered by critics and are likely to finish well behind Disney’s opening of “The Jungle Book” the following weekend.
If “Batman v Superman” finishes at $23 million, it would represent a 55% decline from the second weekend’s $53.1 million — a less severe drop than its 69% plunge from the opening weekend. The superhero tentpole would probably finish the frame just short of $300 million domestically.
“The Boss” did solid business on Thursday night, launching with $985,000 at 2,533 North American sites in previews, and looked likely to finish Friday with about $8 million after opening at 3,482 locations. “The Boss” launched with a nearly identical preview number to McCarthy’s 2013 hit “The Heat,” which saw $1 million in previews on its way to a $39.1 million debut weekend and a $159.5 million domestic total.
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Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, noted that McCarthy is a proven draw in comedies such as “Spy,” which opened with $29 million on its way to $110 million last year; 2014’s “Tammy,” which launched with $21 million and finished with $84 million; and her breakout in 2011’s “Bridesmaids” with a $26 million opening and a final domestic total of nearly $170 million.
“Her drawing power at the box office has been unquestionably strong and consistent,” Dergarabedian added. “‘The Boss’ puts her right in her R-rated, foul-mouthed, tell-it-like-it-is wheelhouse and should generate for her yet another $20 million-plus opening weekend, and her wonderfully blissful vulgarity could give ‘Batman v Superman’ a run for its money.”
“Batman v Superman” has grossed an impressive $270 million domestically in its first 13 days through Wednesday along with $450 million in international markets. The film, which carries a whopping $250 million price tag, won’t make it to $1 billion worldwide, but it has also fulfilled its purpose of introducing other characters from the DC universe, including Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash.
McCarthy’s character in “The Boss” portrays a former billionaire sent to prison for insider trading. Her money-hungry post-prison character teams with her former assistant, played by Kristen Bell, and adolescent girls to build a brownie-selling empire.
Reviews for “The Boss” are even worse than those for “Batman v Superman” with a 20% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes — compared with 94% for last summer’s “Spy.” “The Boss” carries a $29 million price tag.
McCarthy’s spouse Ben Falcone directs the film. The couple produced “The Boss” through their On the Day production company along with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy’s Gary Sanchez Productions.
STX Entertainment is also opening point-of-view thriller “Hardcore Henry” at 3,015 sites amid forecasts of a launch in the $6 million to $7 million launch. STX acquired the picture out of the Toronto Film Festival. “Henry” took in $385,000 in Thursday night previews.