UPDATE, 1 PM: Based on matinees, Neighbors looks like it’s gonna whoop The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — with estimates right now $40M+ range for Universal’s frat comedy … it’s playing incredibly strong and it could even get up to $45M, according to some distribs … if so, can’t see Spidey holding onto the No. 1 spot. Looks like Spidey will perform in the high $30M’s. Like I said before, it will depend on Friday’s numbers. And there you go … Fox’s The Other Woman is playing well for a third spot … at the moment. Very early estimates. Very. One thing of note, is a survey that Fandango conducted of the Neighbors ticket buyers … 93% of them would like to see more adult comedies this summer. Stay tuned as the ticker-tape that has become box office reporting continues.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:20 AM: Universal’s comedy Neighbors had a nice Jell-O shot of $2.5M in late nights last night, starting at 8 PM. With that total on 2,225 screens (it will be released on 3,279 screens today), Neighbors‘ per-screen average is $1,123. In comparison, Jackass: Bad Grandpa opened at 9 PM in October to a $1.4M early take and ended up opening at $32M, while The Heat opened at 10PM at the end of June to $1M and went onto gross $39.1M. Ted, based only on midnights, grossed $2.6M in and went onto nab $54.4M.
Looking at the comps above, the late-night number for Neighbors is not truly indicative; what will be is watching the Friday night numbers. and the film needs a big number to pass The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tonight … which will be interesting since the midweek numbers for Spidey have not been that impressive. Neighbors will likely hold steady on Saturday and then Spidey will likely have a better hold on Sunday … so it will all come down to this Friday night number. Can the frat boys beat the superhero? Yes, it could happen. Stay tuned.
PREVIOUSLY, THURSDAY, 12:48 PM: It’s just too close to call on who will win the Mother’s Day box office weekend — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in its sophomore frame or the R-rated frat prank comedy Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, which is expected to have a stellar performance this weekend as word is that it truly delivers. The question comes down to how significant a drop Spidey will have this weekend. Taking away Thursday’s $8.7M gross and concentrating on the three-day weekend gross number only, ASM2 totalled $82.9M.
Sony’s franchise has been playing behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which dropped 51% in its second weekend. Given that, ASM2 is expected to drop anywhere from 50%-55% this weekend or more, which would leave the three-day gross at $41.4M on the high end to $37M-$35M 0r even less on the other end. The franchise’s midweek numbers have been unimpressive and Neighbors could very well end up as this generation’s Animal House. Let’s face it, there is no studio better with producing and marketing comedies right now than Universal Pictures (oh, I’m gonna hear the flack on this one), but they are really good at it and it should be noted. Spidey is playing on 4,324 screens and Neighbors on 3,279 screens.
Fandango reported yesterday that Neighbors is currently the site’s biggest R-rated comedy pre-seller since summer 2012’s surprise hit Ted, which opened in 3,303 theaters to $54.4M a $16,800 per-screen average. Efron’s last picture That Awkward Moment didn’t perform at all, but again, this particular comedy delivers. Thanks to Rogen, the writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, and director Nick Stoller, who is on his fourth time out with Universal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek and The Five-Year Engagement).
One thing to note is that Sunday is Mother’s Day, so that fares better for other pics as no son or daughter is likely to take their moms out for an R-rated frat pic. Nothing says how much you love your Mom than by reminding your her where her hard-earned cash goes while you are off in college hitting the beer … I mean, books. The other comedy in the marketplace, The Other Woman, is already in its third weekend out so has had time to play out.
So, Universal put Neighbors in at a good time as there is room for this comedy and it is also good counterprogramming to the other opening pictures, which brings me to another sweet animated film: Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which is opening this weekend for moms and could take the No. 3 spot with around $11M. Then there’s Moms’ Night Out which does have a faith-based component to it so its tracking numbers right now of maybe $4M could be usurped. Heaven Is For Real is also in the mix, albeit in its fourth weekend out, but still playing well.