‘Neighbors’ Topples ‘Spider-Man’ to Open as No. 1 Weekend Movie

“Neighbors,” a Universal Pictures comedy with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, opened as the top weekend film in U.S. and Canadian theaters, outdrawing two new features and toppling last week’s leader, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

“Neighbors” took in sales of $51.1 million, researcher Rentrak Corp. said today in a statement. Sony Corp.’s “Spider-Man” collected $37.2 million in its second week, while the new film “Moms’ Night Out,” also from Sony, opened with $4.2 million. A third new release, Clarius Entertainment LLC’s “Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” produced $3.71 million.

Hollywood tackled the second weekend of the summer film season with an eclectic mix of films appealing to fans from different demographic groups. Rogen and Efron each have their own followings, while the animated “Legend of Oz” catered to children and “Spider-Man” drew super-hero lovers. “Moms’ Night Out” targeted women on Mother’s Day weekend.

“Neighbors” brings together Rogen, a popular figure in raunchy comedies, with Efron, a Disney Channel hearthrob who starred in the “High School Musical” TV movies and has graduated to adult roles.

Rogen plays the settled-down husband and family man, Mac Radner, whose quiet life is upended when fraternity president Teddy Sanders, played by Efron, moves in next door with his buddies.

International Sales

“Neighbors” was made for about $18 million, according to Box Office Mojo, an industry researcher. It was forecast to produce opening-weekend sales of $39 million for theaters and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, the estimate of BoxOffice.com. The film had a 75 percent positive rating at Rottentomatoes.com, which sums up reviews with a single number.

“The concept is appealing, marketing has been terrific, and reviews have been sensational, which will make ticket buyers feel like their money will not be wasted,” Gitesh Pandya, chief executive officer of Boxofficeguru.com, said on his website.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” featuring Andrew Garfield in the title role for the second time, was expected to take in $37 million this weekend, BoxOffice.com estimated.

Garfield returns as the sensitive high school student Peter Parker, endowed with the super powers that make him Spider-Man.

In this installment, Parker face the villains Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, and the Green Goblin, and is torn between saving the streets of New York and protecting his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, played again by Emma Stone.

The film is the biggest release of 2014 for Sony Pictures, which has additional sequels set for 2016 and 2018, according to Box Office Mojo, as well as plans for spinoff characters.

The studio unit of Tokyo-based Sony is counting more on international ticket sales to recoup production and marketing costs estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As of May 7, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” had generated $384.6 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo.

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