It’s an absolute no brainer that Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War will rule the box office once again in its third weekend with forecasts seeing $60M-$63M for a running cume that’s north of $540M. And that’s because the competition continues to lay low with budget-worthy counter-programming, in this case New Line/Warner Bros.’ Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party and Universal’s Wall Packer-Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In.
Right now tracking has Life of the Party ahead of Breaking In, $18M-$21M to $14M-$17M.
Life of the Party reteams McCarthy for the third time with her husband and fellow Groundling alum Ben Falcone after Tammy and The Boss in a movie about a middle-aged mom, who after being abruptly divorced, returns to college to complete her degree. It’s been two years since McCarthy has appeared on screen in a leading comedy role, the previous being The Boss ($23.6M, $63.2M domestic) and Ghostbusters ($46M, $128.4M), the latter positioned by Sony as a summer tentpole (that fell way short). But a lot has changed in regards to comedies at the B.O. since then. Some family comedies have popped like Daddy’s Home 2 ($29.6M, $104M domestic), but it’s been an uphill battle for laughs. Universal’s well-reviewed R-rated teen comedy Blockers was able to debut to $20.6M, but will likely end its stateside run with a near 3x multiple near $60M. Don’t forget comedies have to rely on domestic working since they it’s only the English-speaking territories that largely work abroad and occasionally Germany depending on a pic’s bawdiness.
McCarthy and Falcone were able to skate by on bad CinemaScores (C+) and reviews on their 2014 New Line comedy Tammy which posted a $21.6M three-day and went on to do a 3.9X for $84.5M. However, their previous collaboration, The Boss only did a 2.7x ($23.5M opening, $63.2M) and that too was weighed down by sour audience scores and reviews. This time around with Life of the Party, they continued to keep their budget cheap in the low $30Ms before P&A, and went for a PG-13 rating over R so they could pull the daughters in with moms during the upcoming Mother’s Day frame. Last year, Fox’s Goldie Hawn-Amy Schumer comedy Snatched shot up 24% on Mother’s Day Sunday from its Saturday till. Anything over $20M is respectable for Life of the Party, so let’s hope for the sake of the genre at the B.O., it gets there. No reviews have registered yet on Rotten Tomatoes.
Knowing the fandom around Will Packer’s movies, it would come as no surprise if Breaking In overperforms. Directed by James McTeigue and starring Union and Billy Burke, Breaking In follows a woman who protects her family during a home invasion. Packer’s previous thriller, No Good Deed starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson opened to $24.2M, however, it was during an non-competitive time at the September 2014 box office. No reviews yet for Breaking In, but Packer’s fare is largely critic proof.
Both Life of the Party and Breaking In kick off for previews on Thursday night.