Sunday Update: Universal's Neighbors broke out this weekend with an estimated first place debut of $51.07 million. The comedy starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne had been widely expected to find itself in a close battle for first place this weekend with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Neighbors ultimately won this weekend's box office battle with ease. Neighbors delivered the largest live-action opening weekend performances ever for both Rogen (whose previous high-mark was the $33.53 million start of 2011's The Green Hornet) and Efron (whose previous best was the $42.03 million launch of 2008's High School Musical 3). Neighbors generated the fifth largest opening weekend of 2014 to date and marks another strong performer for Universal thus far in 2014 (joining Ride Along, Lone Survivor and Non-Stop).
Neighbors opened with $19.6 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.56 million from Thursday evening shows), fell 9 percent on Saturday to take in $17.8 million and is estimated to decline 23 percent on Sunday to take in $13.67 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.61 to 1. Neighbors had clear four-quadrant appeal this weekend, as it skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers 25 and older (53 percent). The film did only receive a B rating on CinemaScore, but is still likely to hold up well going forward.
Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 took second place with $37.2 million. The expensive 3D superhero sequel fell 59.4 percent from last weekend's opening weekend performance. That was similar to the respective 58.4 percent and 61.5 percent second weekend declines of last year's Iron Man 3 and 2007's Spider-Man 3, though both of those films were coming off far larger opening weekend performances. With a ten-day take of $147.90 million, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues to perform on the low end of expectations. The film is currently running 2 percent ahead of the $145.097 million ten-day start of last year's Thor: The Dark World and 7 percent behind the recent $158.88 million ten-day take of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is likely to continue to fall off quickly next weekend when Warner's highly anticipated Godzilla enters the marketplace.
Turning towards the weekend's other new wide releases, neither Moms' Night Out nor Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return was able to make an impact at the box office. Sony's Moms' Night Out debuted in seventh place with an estimated $4.2 million. Despite strong pre-sales, the low-budget comedy from TriStar aimed at faith-based audiences opened slightly below its modest expectations. Opening in only 1,044 locations this weekend didn't help matters for the film. Mom's Night Out debuted with $1.25 million on Friday, increased 12 percent on Saturday to take in $1.4 million and is estimated to increase 11 percent to gross $1.55 million on Mother's Day. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.36 to 1. Moms' Night Out received a B+ rating on CinemaScore, but might be front-loaded going forward as a result of opening on Mother's Day weekend.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return opened in eighth place with an estimated $3.71 million. Despite decent pre-release tracking and the current relatively empty marketplace for family fare, the 3D computer animated film from new distributor Clarius Entertainment debuted below its modest expectations. The film was clearly unable to propel itself from the strong performance of Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful last year. Legends of Oz opened with $0.99 million on Friday, increased 63 percent on Saturday to gross $1.61 million and is estimated to decline 31 percent on Sunday to take in $1.11 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.75 to 1. Legends of Oz did receive a strong A rating on CinemaScore, but it will have a tough time keeping screens going forward after this weekend's soft start.
Fox's The Other Woman claimed third place this weekend with an estimated $9.25 million. The comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton was down 36 percent from last weekend. That represented a very solid weekend hold, especially when considering the new competition the film faced from Neighbors. The Other Woman was helped out a bit this weekend by the Mother's Day holiday. The Other Woman continues to exceed expectations with a 17-day take of $61.73 million. That places the film 14 percent ahead of the $54.36 million 17-day gross of 2008's What Happens in Vegas.
Heaven is for Real held up very nicely this weekend with an estimated fourth place take of $7.0 million. The break-out faith-based drama from Sony was down just 19 percent from last weekend, thanks in part to continued strong word of mouth and the Mother's Day holiday. The 26-day total for Heaven is for Real stands at an impressive $75.22 million.
Saturday Update: Universal reports that Neighbors took in a hefty $19.6 million on Friday, putting it on a course for a projected weekend of $50 million. The opening day figure tops that of The Hangover ($16.7 million, onward to a $45 million weekend) and fell just shy of Ted ($20.6 million Friday, $54.4 million weekend).
With a healthy 80 percent Flixster score as of Saturday morning, word of mouth is off to a strong start as Universal's 2014 winning streak continues. Look for Neighbors to play strongly in the days and weeks ahead.
Sony reports The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was down 71 percent from its opening day to $10.1 million yesterday. That sets the sequel on course for a projected sophomore frame of $37 million. The severe drop-off is indicative of mixed word of mouth, as well as Neighbors moving in on Spidey's young adult audience.
Moms' Night Out earned $1.25 million on Friday, putting it on course for a $4.3 million weekend. The flick is taking advantage of Mother's Day this Sunday for an added boost of appeal to faith-based audiences. The film's Flixster score stands at 79 percent as of Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return posted a meager $0.98 million on Friday. First-time distributor Clarius Entertainment can at least be encouraged by the film's 94 percent Flixster audience score as of this morning (notably up from its pre-release anticipation score). BoxOffice projects a $4.2 million weekend.
Friday Update #2: Multiple sources report that Neighbors is trending for a huge opening day between $16-18 million. That virtually assures the comedy will top $40 million for the weekend, with a range of $42-47 million on the table based on these early projections.
More updates as they come.
Friday Update: Sources report that Neighbors took in $2.56 million from early shows at 2,224 theaters last night. That's a strong start for the comedy on the heels of generating Fandango's best pre-sales for an R-rated comedy since 2012's Ted.
Notable comparisons include The Hangover Part III, which earned $3.1 million from early Wednesday night shows last May before taking in $41.7 million over the 3-day Memorial Day weekend. Ted itself posted a similar $2.6 million late night launch before hauling in a $54.4 million opening weekend two summers ago, although that former figure was exclusively from midnight shows (Neighbors started four to five hours earlier).
As an original flick generating strong early word of mouth and very positive critical reactions for a raunchy comedy, we expect Neighbors to continue building on the momentum of Thursday's first screenings throughout the weekend. Sources report that Universal itself had been projecting an opening weekend in the $25-30 million range, however, signs up to this point indicate a weekend near or in excess of $40 million could be in store. Check back later in the day for an early report on how Friday's business is trending.