Entertainment Magazine

Box Office: Not Even Seth Rogen Saw Neighbors’ Huge Debut Coming, Amazing Spider-Man 2 Drops As Expected

Posted on the 11 May 2014 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm
To see our other box office top 10 breakdowns please go here.

So, here’s what happened this weekend at the domestic box office: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (ASM 2) dropped pretty much on par with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and Spider-Man 3).  However, have you seen how much it’s making internationally?  Also, Neighbors just posted one of the biggest openings for an R-rated comedy ever.  We’ll try to figure out why.  Let’s break it down.

Top 10 Estimated Domestic Totals (5/9-5/11)

1. Neighbors (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$51 million
  • Budget=$18 million

Foreign: $34.4 million from 29 countries, finishing at #1 in 17 of those, including the U.K., Australia and Germany.  This makes for a worldwide debut of $85.4 million.

Not even Seth Rogen knew Neighbors was going to open this big.  Universal’s domestic distribution chief told THR, “They never expected this kind of opening. Seth is beyond thrilled,” before pointing out that 53% of the opening weekend audience was female, higher than normal for an R-rated co0medy.  

So, how big was this, really?  Only Hangover 2 ($85.9 million), the first Sex and the City ($57 million), and Ted ($54.4 million) had bigger openings for an R-rated comedy.  Why?  Sure, Rogen’s This is the End was a solid hit last year, improbably crossing the $100 million plateau in domestic gross ($101.4 million), but Neighbors just got halfway there on its opening weekend.  In fact, it made nearly as much on its first Friday ($19.6 million) than This is the End made in its entire opening weekend ($20.7 million).  Plus, Neighbors co-star Zac Efron already starred in a raunchy comedy this year, That Awkward Moment, and it topped out at just $26 million domestic.  Perhaps Rogen and Efron combined, however, was the perfect mix of kind-of young and slightly older, appealing to different demographics (e.g., a Seth Rogen fan would never normally see a Zac Efron movie, and vice versa). 

Beyond the influence of good word-of-mouth, partially generated by surprisingly strong reviews, and audience familiarity with the likes of Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne and director Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement), it might also be a case of audience conditioning.  Ever since The Hangover, we have become conditioned to expect at least one raunchy R-rated comedy we can all embrace, turning all three Hangover films into hits as well as the likes of Ted and (not nearly as raunchy, though) The Heat.  Usually, only one of these kinds of films hit this big per summer.  Let’s see what Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz’ Sex Tape has to stay about that in late July.

Everything for Neighbors from this point forward is just gravy since they scored nearly $90 million worldwide in 3 days while only costing $18 million to make.  

2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2


  • Weekend Gross=$37.2 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$147.9 million
  • Budget=$200-250 million

Foreign: $69.5 million this weekend for a new international gross of $403 million and worldwide total of $550.9 million

How Far Did It Drop?: 59%

How Does That Compare to Recent Comic Book Movies?: Better than Man of Steel (64%), almost identical to Iron Man 3 (58.4%), ever so slightly worse than Thor: The Dark World (57.3%) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (56.6%).

How Does It Compare to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Films?: They all had higher 10-day totals than ASM 2‘s $148 million, with Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man at $240 million, Spider-Man 2 at $225 million, and Spider-Man 3 at $223 million.  Remember that none of those films had the benefit of 3D ticket pricing.  The first Raimi film only declined 37% its second weekend, Spider-Man 2 declined 49%, and then Spider-Man 3 declined 61%, only slightly worse than ASM 2.  

How Does it Compare to The Amazing Spider-Man 1Again, off the pace since after 10 days ASM 1 had $168 million, and it only declined 44% in its second weekend.

However, making comparisons with ASM 2 is exceedingly difficult since it is only the third Spider-Man film to ever be released at the beginning of May.  Both Spider-Man 2 and ASM 1 were released around the 4th of July holiday, potentially inflating their totals with a holiday bump.  The films to which ASM 2 can be more fairly compared, other than Spider-Man 1 and 3, are those other comic book movies which opened in early May, including Avengers, all three Iron Man films, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Thor.  It’s not in the same league as The Avengers, but it is far removed from the embarrassing failure of Origins: Wolverine, which had $129 million after 10 days but had declined nearly 70% in its second weekend.  It’s also nowhere near as big of a hit as either of the first two Iron Man films, although Iron Man 2 also declined 59% during its second weekend, but it’s a bigger hit than the first Thor.  

We’ve buried the lead here, though, because the real story is the impressive success ASM 2 has enjoyed internationally.  As a point of comparison, it has exceeded $400 million international after less than a month while the far more respected and better reviewed Captain America: Winter Soldier is starting to wind down with $450 million foreign after a month and a half of international release.  At this point, ASM 2 seems likely to fall short of ASM 1‘s domestic total of $262 million while also equaling/surpassing its $490 million foreign total.

3. The Other Woman

Kate Upton

Did you even notice she’s wearing sunglasses?

  •  Weekend Gross=$9.2 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$61.7 million
  • Budget=$40 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $61.4 million making for a worldwide total of $123.2 million

As a point of comparison, let’s look at Cameron Diaz’ last big comedy: 2011′s Bad Teacher -

  • Opening Weekend: $31 million Bad Teacher vs. $25 million The Other Woman
  • Domestic Gross: $100 million Bad Teacher vs. $62 million The Other Woman
  • Worldwide Gross: $216.1 million Bad Teacher vs. $123.2 million The Other Woman.

Bad Teacher did all of that while costing exactly half the amount of money to make, $20 million for Bad Teacher, $40 million for The Other Woman.  Let’s see how much longer Other Woman’s run will last.

4. Heaven is for Real 


  • Weekend Gross=$7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$75.2 million
  • Budget=$12 million

Foreign: A current foreign gross of $1.7 million for a worldwide total of $76.9 million.

This is the highest grossing “Christian” film not named Passion of the Christ or featuring a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe.   

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier


  • Weekend Gross=$5.6 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$244.9 million
  • Budget=$170 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $450 million making for a worldwide total of $695.5 million

Winter Soldier is the highest-grossing Marvel Studios film not to feature Tony Stark as Iron Man, trailing all 3 Iron Man films and The Avengers on the domestic chart and just Iron Man 3 and The Avengers on the worldwide chart.  So, in the Marvel Studios heirarchy Captain America seems to have taken second position behind Iron Man, passing Thor.  If you expand outward to include all Marvel films, regardless of studio, Captain America is in third position, behind the Iron Man films and all of the Spider-Man films.  If you look at just comic book movies in general, regardless of Marvel/DC, Captain America is at least ahead of Man of Steel’s worldwide total of $668 million but behind its domestic total of $291 million.  The point?  As far as box office is concerned, Captain America is surging in popularity, but there are still several more bankable characters in front of him.  

6. Rio 2 


  •  Weekend Gross=$5.1 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$113.1 million
  • Budget=$103 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $304.6 million making for a worldwide total of $417.7 million

Rio 2 opened almost exactly even with the first Rio from 3 years ago, but by this point it’s fallen behind by around $12 million.  Similarly, its $304.6 million at the foreign box office is still a bit behind the first Rio‘s ultimate foreign gross of $341 million.   

7. Mom’s Night Out (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$4.2 million
  • Budget=$5-10 million

Foreign: No foreign release planned at the moment.

Can a faith-based film pack in big audiences if it’s a comedy?  Wait, how exactly is Mom’s Night Out faith-based?  It is ostensibly just about Patricia Heaton’s beleaguered mother character attempting to have a fun night out with two gal pals (and hilarity ensues, of course), but the women she rallies to her cause are from her same church congregation.  Beyond that, the connections are more behind the scenes since its distributors (TriStar Pictures, Provident Films, and Affirm Films) were behind faith-based hits Facing the Giants and Fireproof, with Fireproof‘s director actually playing a Christian pastor in Mom’s Night Out.  Plus, Mom’s Night Out directors Andrew and Jon Erwin were previously responsible for anti-abortion film October Baby.  

So, with those connections Mom’s Night Out has inevitably been lumped together with 2014′s mega-successful faith-based dramas Son of God, God’s Not Dead, and Heaven is For Real, all of which at least passed $50 million domestic.  Well, Mom’s Night Out opened in just over 1,000 theaters, and actually scored a $4,000 per-theater average, third best of the weekend.  However, by comparison God’s Not Dead only opened in 780 theaters yet scored nearly $10 million its opening weekend.  So, while there is definitely support out there for Mom’s Night Out, it’s not nearly as impressive. 

8. The Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$3.7 million
  • Budget=$70 million

Foreign: No foreign box office figures yet.

Loosely based on Dorothy of Oz, a Wizard of Oz penned by original author L. Frank Baum’s great-grandson, Legend of Oz involves Dorothy returning to a tornado-decimated Kansas and then returning to a Jester-controlled Oz.  It’s a musical with songs from Bryan Adams, and features the vocal talents of Lea Michele (Dorothy), Martin Short (Jester), Dan Aykroyd (Scarecrow), Kelsey Grammar (Tin Man), Jim Belushi (Cowardly Lion), and Bernadette Peters (Glinda).  Oliver Platt, Patrick Stewart, and Megan Hilty round out the cast.  That’s a cast full of names we know, but it’s not based on a well-known story and the quality of the animation is decidedly in the direct-to-video category.  So, why is in theaters and not on video shelves?  The fact that The Wizard of Oz 3D/IMAX re-release pulled in $22 million domestic and Oz: The Great and Powerful ended with nearly $500 million worldwide last year is probably all the answer you need.   However, they missed their Wizard of Oz nostalgia window, scoring the 7th worst performance for any film opening in between 2,500 and 3,000 theaters, even worse than what Vampire Academy did earlier this year. 

9. Divergent


  • Weekend Gross=$1.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$145 million
  • Budget=$85 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $107.6 million making for a worldwide total of $255.6 million

Through the first 5 months of 2014, only Amazing Spider-Man 2, Winter Soldier, and The Lego Movie have made more domestically than Divergent.  Obviously, that won’t last, but it’s better than anyone could have reasonably expected after the recent death march of failed YA novel adaptations The Host, Beautiful Creatures, Mortal Instruments, and Vampire Academy.  

10. Brick Mansions


  • Weekend Gross=$1.4 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$18.3 million
  • Budget=$28 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $8.3 million for a worldwide total of $26.6 million.

As it turns out, “Fast & Furious star Paul Walker‘s final completed film” was not much of a marketing hook for Brick Mansions, which is not going to come close to the domestic total of recent similar films from producer Luc Besson, e.g., 3 Days to Kill ($30 million), The Family ($37 million), and Columbiana ($37 million).  Besson’s films rely more on the international market, though, where Brick Mansions is off to a relatively slow start. 

What Happened Outside of the Top 10?

Who Fell Out of the Top 10?: The Grand Budapest Hotel (#9 to #11), God’s Not Dead (#10 to #12), and The Quiet Ones (#8 to #15).  After 8 weeks in theaters, God’s Not Dead has now grossed $57.5 million, an amazing return on investment since its production budget was merely $2 million.


What’s Up Next?: Armed with far stronger-than-expected reviews, an American version of Godzilla storms back into theaters, likely to succeed where the dreaded 1997 version failed.  However, based upon last year’s remarkably similar Pacific Rim and the 75% of its worldwide gross which came from the international market Godzilla seems a stronger foreign bet than domestic.  It will open opposite Disney’s literal-rags-to-hopeful-riches baseball film Million Dollar Arm.  Both open wide on Friday (5/16).

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