Just about every weekend during the summer season brings a new number one to the box office charts, which is expected given that studios are putting out big movies every weekend, and this week was no different. As a breather in=n between the big-budget craziness of Spider-Man and Godzilla, the $18 million budgeted Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy Neighbors took the top slot this weekend, grossing $51 million and claiming the record for the second biggest non-sequel non-spinoff R-rated comedy opening of all time (behind 2012’s Ted) and the biggest opening weekend ever for both Rogen and Efron. The movie also pulled in $34.5 million in overseas markets, putting it well ahead of its budget and making it a surefire success. The movie should keep rolling along well until Seth Macfarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West opens a few weekends from now.
The other two wide releases this weekend were barely noticed and barely seen. The “hey, is that Sean Astin and Patricia Heaton?” Christian movie Mom’s Night Out opened in seventh place with $4.2 million, which isn’t horrendous given that the budget was only $5 million, but is pretty weak when you consider that Heaven Is For Real (out for 4 weeks) was in fourth place with $7 million. It seems that even the Christians are going out to see the superheroes and the frat comedies at this time of year. Also opening poorly was the direct-to-video-looking animated musical Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which opened in eighth place with $3.7 million, the 7th worst wide-release (2500+ screens) opening of all time. Again, sad when you consider that Rio 2 (in its fifth week) outgrossed it by almost $2 million dollars over the weekend. On the plus side, the limited release of Jon Favreau’s Chef went quite well, opening with $204,000 on six screens. A wider release will probably happen in the coming weeks and the movie might find success as counterprogramming to the blockbusters.
The mixed story is certainly that of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, whose weekend was a mess of good and bad. The movie made $37.2 million over the weekend for a domestic total of $147.9 million. It had a drop of about 59% from last weekend, which is comparable to the drop Spider-Man 3 had in 2007 and Iron Man 3 had last year, but it’s steeper than most of the other superhero movies of the last couple years when compared with the overall gross, and it’s only about $10 million ahead of what the first Andrew Garfield Spidey outing had in the same timeframe. Next week’s showdown with Godzilla will tell how it fares domestically overall (and truth to tell, the movie has racked up $550 million including overseas grosses, so it’s nowhere near a flop), but it could end up being the lowest-grossing Spider-Man entry by a fairly substantial margin, and suggest that perhaps the public’s interest in Peter Parker has waned.