(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
Since breaking out on the big screen with her scene-stealing appearance in the hit 2011 comedy Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has earned a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most fearless — and gut-bustingly funny — stars, proving her willingness to endure even the most awkward situations and ego-bruising pratfalls in follow-up efforts like The Heat, Spy, and Ghostbusters. But McCarthy isn’t just here to make us laugh — she’s also proven her dramatic chops in more subdued fare like St. Vincent and Gilmore Girls, leading up to a Best Lead Actress Oscar nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me?.
Now, we’re ranking all Melissa McCarthy movies by Tomatometer!
With Hollywood busy preparing for the Academy Awards, studios dumped out lame new releases which not surprisingly led to a soft session at North American multiplexes allowing former chart-topper Identity Thief to reclaim the number one spot. Universal’s hit comedy declined by a reasonable 40% from the Friday-to-Sunday portion of last weekend’s Presidents’ Day frame and grossed an estimated $14.1M leading all films. After 17 days, the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman pic has now collected $93.7M and will hit the $100M mark next weekend – a big achievement for an original R-rated comedy.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got his busy 2013 started with a decent opening for his action offering Snitch which bowed in second place to an estimated $13M from 2,511 theaters for a good $5,177 average. The PG-13 film about a father becoming an informant in order to save his son played more to older men as studio research showed that 53% of the audience was male and 57% was over 30. Reviews were mixed and the CinemaScore grade was a mediocre B. The Rock will reappear in the top ten monthly with G.I. Joe: Retaliation opening March 29, Pain and Gain on April 26, and Fast and Furious 6 debuting May 24.
The Weinstein Co. enjoyed a terrific hold for its 3D animated offering Escape From Planet Earth which slipped only 31% to an estimated $11M in its second weekend. With no competition at all for kids, and with many schools closed last week for winter breaks, the PG-rated comedy-adventure has banked a solid $35.1M in ten days and will continue to face no competitors over the coming week.
The critically-panned romance Safe Haven fell 51% to an estimated $10.6M taking fourth place while the action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard tumbled 60% to an estimated $10M in fifth. Relativity has taken in $48.1M in 11 days for its love story while Fox’s more expensive franchise film has banked $51.8M over the same number of days. International results were strong for Bruce Willis with $35.7M from 67 markets for an overseas total of $133.1M (led by Japan’s $13.3M) and a global gross of $184.8M – 72% from offshore audiences.
Supernatural thriller Dark Skies had a soft debut in sixth with an estimated $8.9M from 2,313 locations for a weak $3,826 average. Earning dull reviews from critics, the PG-13 fright flick was also rejected by paying consumers receiving a disappointing C grade from CinemaScore. Competition was light, but the target audience had little interest in this Weinstein Co. release.
The top grossing Best Picture contender this weekend was once again Silver Linings Playbook which eased a scant 3% to an estimated $6.1M upping its cume to $107.5M. That’s a healthy $71.7M more than the $35.7M it had in the bank when it earned its nominations last month. Zombie romance Warm Bodies followed with an estimated $4.8M, off 46%, for a $58.2M total for Summit and Lionsgate.
Dropping 44% was Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects with an estimated $3.5M followed closely by the teen flop Beautiful Creatures with $3.4M, down a troubling 55%. Totals are $25.3M for Open Road and $16.4M for Warner Bros.
Most Best Picture contenders continued to rake in last-minute ticket sales from interested movie fans before Hollywood’s big night. Front-runner Argo dipped 10% to an estimated $2M for $129.8M to date. That is an exceptional hold given that the Ben Affleck-directed film just hit multiple home entertainment platforms this past week. Life of Pi eased just 1% to an estimated $1.6M for $113.5M domestic and a towering $584.5M worldwide. Lincoln took in an estimated $1.5M, down just 9%, for cumes of $178.6M from North America and $245.1M worldwide.
Some nominees suffered larger drops. Zero Dark Thirty fell 25% to an estimated $2.3M giving Sony $91.6M to date while the musical Les Misérables dropped 24% to an estimated $657,000 with $146.6M thus far for Universal. Declining by 32% was Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained with an estimated $1M and $158.8M overall.
Sony Classics added some screens to the run of Amour which surged 16% to an estimated $816,000 for a total of $5.2M. Together, the nine Best Picture nominees have now grossed a stellar $942.8M domestically with seven of those titles surpassing $90M each. Worldwide, the nine films have been thriving this awards season collecting over $2 billion.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.3M which was down 21% from last year when Act of Valor climbed into the number one spot with $24.5M; and down 8% from 2011 when Hall Pass debuted in the top spot with $13.5M.
This weekend, Universal’s Identity Thief blew onto the scene with a surprisingly strong opening, while Steven Soderbergh’s supposed last directorial effort debuted mildly in third. Returning films held on reasonably well, especially those of the Oscar variety.
Exploding into first place was Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, with an estimated $36.6M from 3,141 theaters, for a potent per-screen average of $11,650. Despite the controversial review of formerly influential critic Rex Reed, audiences dug the film, which outgunned the opening weekends of Bateman’s Horrible Bosses ($28.3M) and McCarthy’s Bridesmaids ($26.2), both from the summer of 2011. Instead Identity Thief opened in line with last year’s spring hit 21 Jump Street which debuted with $36.3M on its way to $138.7M. If last year was the year of Tatum, could this year be the year of McCarthy, who has The Heat co-starring Sandra Bullock on tap for later this summer.
Second place belonged to the warm and fuzzy zombies of Warm Bodies. Dipping a reasonable 43% from its debut weekend, the Summit release ate up an estimated $11.5M bringing its cume to $35.5M.
Third place belonged to Side Effects directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, who claims this will be his last film. The thriller, which stars last year’s “It Boy” Tatum, couldn’t live up to the pair’s last collaboration Magic Mike ($39.1M from last summer) and opened mildly with $10M, according to estimates, from 2,605 theaters for a per-screen average of only $3,845. I have a hard time imagining Soderbergh will be happy to go out on a note like this, so I’m betting he’ll be back in the next couple of years.
The rest of the top 10 had a familiar look to it as Oscar films continued their push to Super Sunday on the 24th of this month. Leading the pack in its 13th weekend was Silver Linings Playbook, which fell a slim 11% to $6.9M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its total to $89M. Fifth place belonged to the fairy tale darlings Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters which dropped 39% from last weekend to an estimated $5.8M, bringing its cume to $43M.
Sixth place belonged to the horror-thriller Mama which slipped 34% to an estimated $4.3M and a current total of $63.7M, impressive for a horror film. Jennifer Lawrence’s biggest rival for the Best Actress Oscar landed in seventh place as Jessica Chastain and Zero Dark Thirty slid 23% from last weekend to $4M, according to estimates, bringing the war thriller to $83M.
On an amazing award winning streak, Ben Affleck’s Argo added 470 theaters this weekend and jumped back into the top 10 in its 18th weekend, adding an additional $2.5M, according to estimates, bringing its total to $123.2M. Fellow Best Picture nominee Django Unchained took in an estimated $2.3M this weekend, bringing Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing film to $154.2M. And rounding out the top 10 was the Sylvester Stallone flop Bullet to the Head which dropped 56% from its dull opening to an estimated $2M, bringing its miserable total to $7.9M. One other film of note, the 3D IMAX re-release of Tom Cruise’s classic Top Gun debuted just outside the top 10 with $1.9M from 300 screens for a per screen average of $6,333, second best in the top 20.
The top ten films grossed $85.8M which was down 49% from last year when The Vow and Safe House both debuted north of $40M; and down 33% from 2011 when the triumvirate of Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Gnomeo & Juliet all opened between $25M and $30M.