Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Spy’ Tops Theaters With $29.1 Million

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“Spy,” an espionage comedy featuring Melissa McCarthy, led the box office in its North American weekend debut, collecting $29.1 million for 20th Century Fox and outdrawing two other new releases.

“Insidious: Chapter 3,” a horror film from Universal Pictures and Focus Features, landed in third place with $22.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, Rentrak Corp said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. Warner Bros.’ “Entourage,” based on the HBO series, brought in $10.3 million to place fourth after opening Wednesday, while the returning Warner disaster film “San Andreas” collected $25.8 million in its second week to place second.

With ‘Spy,’’ McCarthy reunites with filmmaker Paul Feig, who directed the successful “Bridesmaids,” the picture that made her famous and remains her biggest release to date. They also teamed up on “The Heat,” with Sandra Bullock. Those two pictures produced more than $500 million in worldwide sales, according to Box Office Mojo, another researcher. Still, “Spy,” which McCarthy carries as the lead actor, fell short of Boxoffice.com’s weekend sales estimate of $40 million.

“While some may have expected a bit more from the film this weekend, solid reviews and great word-of-mouth should give it long-term playability in an overall summer marketplace that has been slow since Memorial Day weekend,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Rentrak, said by e-mail. “That lack of momentum may have hurt all of the films in theaters this weekend.”

‘Needy, Scary’

In the R-rated “Spy,” from 21st Century Fox Inc.’s film studio, McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA analyst who goes undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer and head off a global crisis after her partners are compromised. Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Jason Statham co-star.

The film, with a budget pegged at $65 million by Imdb.com, scored highly with critics. It received 95 percent positive reviews, according to Rottentomatoes.com.

“She can be ridiculous and heroic, needy and scary, clueless and clever -- in quick succession and sometimes all at once,” A.O Scott wrote of McCarthy in the New York Times.

With “Insidious: Chapter 3,” horror specialist Blumhouse returns with a prequel to the original 2011 film, which produced worldwide sales of $97 million on a tiny $1.5 million production budget.

In the new feature, distributed by Comcast Corp.’s Universal and Focus divisions, the gifted psychic Elise Rainier, played by Lin Shaye, uses her ability to contact the dead to help a teenage girl targeted by a dangerous supernatural being.

Hollywood Tale

The franchise has been growing, with the second installment generating $162 million worldwide in 2013, according to Box Office Mojo. The third chapter was forecast to collect $25 million domestically in its opening weekend, according to Boxoffice.com. Almost two-thirds of reviews were favorable, rottentomatoes.com reported.

“Entourage,” the R-rated feature from Time Warner Inc.’s based on the award-winning television series, opened earlier than others, with screenings Wednesday. The film cost $30 million to make, according to Imdb.com, and was expected by Boxoffice.com to collect $18 million.

Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara reprise their TV roles as Eric Murphy, Johnny Drama and Turtle as the friends who surround the rising star Vince Chase, played again by Adrian Grenier. Jeremy Piven returns as Ari Gold, the role widely seen as inspired by the real-life Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel.

‘Jurassic World’

The film picks up where the HBO series ended, with Gold a studio chief who’s embarked on a risky movie project that will serve as Vince’s directorial debut. The picture didn’t fare well with critics -- only 30 percent gave positive reviews.

Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell 20 percent to $122.8 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Sales for the year to date have increased 2.5 percent to $4.52 billion.

“The summer season will get right back on track this coming weekend with the expected $100 million-plus debut of ‘‘Jurassic World,’’ Dergarabedian said.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for June 5 to June 7.

                     Rev.   Pct.             Avg./   Total
 Movie              (mln)   Chg. Theaters  Theater   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 Spy               $29.1     --    3,711   $7,838    $29.1    1
 2 San Andreas       25.8    -53    3,812    6,778     98.5    2
 3 Insidious 3       22.7     --    3,002    7,559     22.7    1
 4 Entourage         10.3     --    3,108    3,309     17.7    1
 5 Mad Max: Fury      7.8    -45    2,720    2,879    130.7    4
 6 Pitch Perfect 2    7.6    -49    3,403    2,225    160.9    4
 7 Tomorrowland       7.2    -50    3,012    2,390     76.4    3
 8 Avengers: Ultron   6.3    -44    2,471    2,566    438.2    6
 9 Aloha              3.2    -66    2,815    1,151     16.3    2
10 Poltergeist        2.7    -66    2,229    1,214     44.3    3

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $122.8 $153.8 -20%

Year-to-date Revenue

2015 2014 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $4,521 $4,410 +2.5 Source: Rentrak Corp.
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