A femme-fuelled comedy beat a superhero blockbuster at the box office this weekend.
After holding the top position for three weeks, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been topped by The Other Woman for the No. 1 spot.
Fox’s revenge comedy, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, debuted with $US24.7 million ($A26.69 million), while Disney-Marvel’s Captain America, led by Chris Evans, grossed $US16 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $US225 million.
The PG-13 rating of Nick Cassavetes directed The Other Woman – about three ladies wronged by a three-timing spouse played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones – helped it draw a larger audience, says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst of box-office tracker Rentrak.
“The rating was perfect,” he said.
“If you are going for the mainstream audience who is looking for something that has a little bit of an edge, but not too much, you can hit that sweet spot and draw a large audience.”
The release date couldn’t have been better, Dergarabedian noted.
“This was the perfect time to release this film, between the success of Captain America and before the official start of the summer movie season with Spider-Man 2.”
Hollywood hasn’t yet seen a comedy do especially well at the box office in 2014 since Ride Along, which was released in January. Domestically, Jason Bateman’s Bad Words made only $US7.7 million overall. Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club brought in $US16 million domestically. Most of his films have grossed over $US40 million domestically. And Marlon Wayans’ sequel A Haunted House 2 opened with $US8.8 million, drastically down from the original’s $US18 million debut.
“Sometimes it’s about casting,” Dergarabedian said.
“When you have Cameron Diaz in a comedy like this, it’s hard not to knock it out of the park. This film is right in her wheelhouse. This is what she does best.”
While Diaz’s last film, thriller The Counselor, grossed only $US17 million domestically last year, her foul-mouthed 2011 comedy Bad Teacher earned over $US100 million stateside.
Captain America has now hit over $645 million globally, surpassing its 2011 original The First Avenger, which earned $370 million. The sequel is the highest-grossing April release ever.
Sony’s faith-based Heaven Is for Real, starring Greg Kinnear, held the third-place position with $13.8 million after opening in the same slot last weekend behind leaders Captain America and Fox’s animated Rio 2, which drifted down to fourth place with $US13.7 million.
Relativity Media’s action crime drama Brick Mansions, starring the late Paul Walker, was No. 5 with $9.6 million. The film was one of the last Walker completed before he died in a car accident in November. To finish Fast & Furious 7, which will be released April 2015, Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody Walker, have stepped in to complete their brother’s action scenes.
It’s a solid debut after the film was pushed back from its original release date in February.
Johnny Depp’s sci-fi disappointment Transcendence dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in its second weekend, earning $4.1 million. The Warner Bros. film is Depp’s third consecutive flop after 2013’s Western The Lone Ranger, in which he played Tonto, and 2012 quirky vampire flick Dark Shadows.
Also opening this weekend was Lionsgate’s The Quiet Ones, starring Jared Harris (Mad Men) as an Oxford professor who recruits students to conduct an experiment to prove supernatural abilities exist. The horror film’s take was a mere $4 million.
Next weekend, Sony-Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will make its domestic debut. The 18 weeks of summer constitutes on average 40 per cent of the year’s box office earnings, Dergarabedian said.
Spider-Man 2 has already premiered internationally in locations like South Korea and Russia. In its second weekend of international release, it made $132 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through to Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday:
1. The Other Woman, $US24.7 million.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, $US16 million.
3. Heaven Is for Real, $US13.8 million.
4. Rio 2, $US13.7 million.
5. Brick Mansions, $US9.6 million.
6. Transcendence, $US4.1 million.
7. The Quiet Ones, $US4 million.
8. Bears, $US3.6 million.
9. Divergent, $US3.6 million.
10. A Haunted House 2, $US3.3 million.