The new neighbors couldn’t avoid the effects of a civil war this weekend, but it was a flock of angry birds that came out on top! Let’s take a look at this week’s Dollars and Sense, and what I mean by that absurd introductory sentence.
This weekend at the box office was proof that the summer season of movie-going is upon us at last! All five of the top five movies this week are tailor-made for summer crowds, with a kids movie, an adult action-comedy, two blockbusters (one of which is arguably the best Marvel movie yet), and a raunchy, yet feminist, Seth Rogen-led comedy. The numbers this week show a solid cash-in without any major outliers or record breakers.
The Angry Birds Movie topped the weekend box office proving that making up a plot based on simple characters from a phone app can actually pay off (which isn’t the best news for those of us nauseated by the recently announced Tetris movie trilogy), raking in over $38 million, over half of its budget. A lot of this, I would wager, has to do with the stellar comedic cast of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, and Peter Dinklage. I’d see that cast in anything. Heck, I’d go see a movie where they voiced colored blocks that fall from nowhere, based on a popular old video game—oh no. But throw in the bright colors and fun music with familiar-looking characters laced with a simple plot, and you’ve got yourself a decent kids flick, especially if you can avoid releasing it around any Dreamworks or Pixar fare (which it did, since Finding Dory is still a few weeks away and Kung Fu Panda 3 is long out of theaters). Only time will tell if it has any staying power, however. Don’t get angry with me for saying that, birds!
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War fell from the number one spot, but only down to the second bracket. This is likely due to the movie’s rewatchability (it’s so good, seriously), which is not something we often get from a Marvel Cinematic Universe effort. As much as I enjoyed Ant-Man, I felt like one viewing was enough. This is not so for Civil War, which is layered and human, while also being wildly entertaining and exciting to watch the whole way through. Sure, it was a 54.7% drop, but with a second weekend haul of almost $33 million (bringing the total gross to $347 million), I’d say they don’t have anything to worry about for a while. X-Men: Apocalypse comes out this coming Friday, but I predict Cap and Co. will continue to reign supreme on the superhero front.
In the third spot this week was Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the new R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron, about a couple trying to sell their house only to have a partying sorority move in next door, making things much more difficult. Personally, I loved the first Neighbors and have been anticipating this one for a while, and though I haven’t seen it yet, the early reviews saying it’s arguably funnier than the first and undoubtedly smarter have me eager to see it even more so. Sure, it pulled in $21 million, $10 million less than the spot above it, but the budget for the film was reportedly only $35 million, which means they made over 50% of their budget back, which is more than most R-rated comedy sequels can say for themselves.
Shane Black’s The Nice Guys took the number four spot with $11 million opening weekend. Since this action-comedy felt a little less accessible to the mainstream crowds than the action of Civil War and the comedy of Neighbors 2, it only makes sense that it wouldn’t do as well as those two films. But knowing Shane Black, this film will develop a following and if it does so quickly, it could find itself in theaters for a while longer than its flash-in-the-pan competition.
And bringing up the rear is Disney’s The Jungle Book, still doing well for its sixth week on the list. Speaking of Disney and animals, Zootopia is still hanging on in the top ten! It took the number eight spot this week, bringing in another $1.6 million during its 12th week on the list. Wow.
Judging by this past weekend and looking forward to weekends to come, it’s shaping up to be a better-than-average summer, which is a welcome relief. And with some interesting indie films (Swiss Army Man and Captain Fantastic both look like new classics just waiting for release) amidst the upcoming blockbusters (Ghostbusters, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, and Suicide Squad on their way) and genre-based films (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Finding Dory,and The Conjuring 2 leading the comedy, children, and horror genres respectively), we could find ourselves enjoying a good-if-not-great new film almost every weekend this summer.
Time will only tell!