4TH UPDATE, SUNDAY 9 AM PST: So now we have a good grasp of a weekend that resulted in nearly $100 million in box office, which is up around 19% from comparable weekend last year. It is still the calm before the storm, when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes the stage and better do three times what The Other Woman did, or else. The story this weekend though is how Fox found a perfect slot for The Other Woman and it hit nicely. It was clearly the most attractive choice among the new films, a comedy revolving around comedienne screen stalwarts Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann and newcomer Kate Upton, and it more than hit the spot. The studio’s tracking put this film with an expected weekend gross in the high teens, and it shot right past that. With a 75% female audience, it is also positioned to be strong counter-programming next weekend when the multiplexes will be all about The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In an era where films open and close so quickly, this one seems well suited to its slot. Insiders at the studio tell me that it played well to an audience over 25, but also shows signs of potential growth with 18-34 audiences, and with males. There really hasn’t been a female-driven edgy comedy since last summer’s The Heat and maybe We’re The Millers, and clearly there is an audience here that will show up. The Heat was also Fox, and that studio has that film’s director Paul Feig creating new comedies in that mold. Fox might well have company if this film continues to overachieve.
As for the incoming Spidey, I saw its New York premiere at the Ziegfeld the other night, and Sony Pictures and returning director Marc Webb have thrown a lot of VFX at the screen as they continue the 3D love relationship between Andrew Garfield‘s Peter Parker and Emma Stone‘s Gwen Stacy. She is a star, plain and simple. We’ll have to wait and see where Garfield goes in his career (he’s in the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence which probably explains the varsity wrestler haircut he sported at the premiere), but I don’t think I have seen an actor his age display more empathy and draw more sympathy onscreen. He puts those traits to good use as he battles Parker’s signature existential crisis issues along with not one but three villains in the Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Electro. (more…)