This coming weekend is so busy at the box office that it’s literally starting tonight. Warner Bros’ Entourage, the big-screen version of the glitzy Hollywood HBO series, will be the first of three wide releases to open with 7 PM previews. Friday brings 20th Century Fox/The Chernin Group’s R-rated Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy and Gramercy Pictures/Blumhouse’s PG-13 horror pic Insidious: Chapter 3.
And then you have Warner Bros./New Line’s San Andreas, which is still performing strong. After a $4.8M Monday, pundits believe the Dwayne Johnson pic will fall at least 50% with a $27M take. Could it hold No. 1? Maybe, but the gut feeling from a number of insiders is that Spy could take it with an estimated FSS ranging from the high $20Ms to mid $30Ms. Entourage, also rated R, is getting ahead of the pack at 3,108 playdates in order to generate any kind of positive word of mouth it can. The film will wind up the lower of the three new openers with a FSS in the high teens, maybe $20M. Tracking for Entourage is strongest among males 25+ at 77% total awareness followed by women 25+ with 72%. The film reunites the TV series cast — Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara — in what has been a story loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s showbiz life.
While the town consistently cries that tracking is off — and note, that’s typically in instances where films are opening below their projected estimates — films have been overperforming their NRG/Marketcast/Screen Engine measures this summer; prime examples being Pitch Perfect 2 and San Andreas (many thought the Brad Peyton directed film would open in the $30M range last week).
Spy reteams McCarthy for the third time with her Bridesmaids and The Heat helmer Paul Feig. The pic kicks off with previews on Thursday night at 5 PM and will play in an estimated 3,700 locales by Friday. Spy is on a similar tracking path to that of The Heat ($39.1M opening, $159.6M final domestic), which skewed mostly female. However, Spy has been gaining traction with guys. The comedy follows a low-rung C.I.A. analyst who is thrust into the high-stakes, bullet-dodging field complete with gorgeous British counterparts who are portrayed by Jude Law, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne. The comedy played like gangbusters before exhibitors at CinemaCon in late April followed by a huge after-party with pop artist Ivy Levan who sang the film’s theme song “Who Can You Trust?”
Insidious: Chapter 3 is bowing close to two years after its previous installment Insidious: Chapter 2, which rang up a $40.3M opening on its way to a final cume of $83.6M. The threequel will go out in over 3,000 engagements and is eyeing a weekend take in the mid $20Ms. Previews start Thursday night. Currently, the film is skewing the strongest among the under 25 demo with strong interest from multicultural moviegoers.
Keeping with the Blumhouse microbudget model, Insidious: Chapter 3 cost a reported $10M. eOne is handling the film in Canada while Focus Features’ genre label Gramercy has it stateside. (Focus acquired rights to Insidious from the former distribution entity FilmDistrict.) Pic is written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who also stars in the film. Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel, set before the first two films, which revolved around the haunting of the Lambert family. Hence Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne aren’t starring in the film this time around, rather it’s led by Dermot Mulroney and Lin Shaye. She plays a gifted psychic who reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous spirit.