‘Spy’ to win week­end show­down

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Saba Hamedy saba.hamedy@la­times.com

The “En­tourage” boys may be back in town, but this week­end is more geared to­ward the ladies, with Melissa McCarthy’s com­edy “Spy” ex­pected to win at the box of­fice.

The es­pi­onage film prob­a­bly will de­but with about $30 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple familiar with pre-re­lease au­di­ence sur­veys. That would put it ahead of fel­low new­comer “In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 3,” which is track­ing to launch with about $25 mil­lion.

Mean­while, the bigscreen adap­ta­tion of HBO’s “En­tourage,” which rolled out in the­aters Tues­day evening, is ex­pected to pull in $14 mil­lion to $17 mil­lion over its five-day open­ing.

“San An­dreas,” last week­end’s No. 1 film, prob­a­bly will fall about 50% in ticket sales in its sec­ond week­end.

Fe­male film­go­ers, who have al­ready f lexed their box-of­fice clout this sum- mer, prob­a­bly will be the key de­mo­graphic au­di­ence for “Spy,” which is be­ing re­leased by 20th Cen­tury Fox.

The film, which was pro­duced by Ch­ernin En­ter­tain­ment for about $65 mil­lion, fol­lows Su­san Cooper (McCarthy), an un­sus­pect­ing se­cret agent on her first field as­sign­ment to stop an arms dealer from sell­ing a nu­clear weapon. She plays op­po­site Jude Law, Ja­son Statham and Rose Byrne.

The film has al­ready earned a 95% pos­i­tive rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

Mean­while, “In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 3,” the lat­est from Blum­house Pro­duc­tions, is be­ing re­leased by Gramercy Pic­tures, Fo­cus Fea­tures’ genre la­bel. It cost a mod­est $10 mil­lion to make. Leigh Whan­nell, co-cre­ator of the “In­sid­i­ous” and “Saw” fran­chises, takes the reins as direc­tor, writer and ac­tor for the third in­stall­ment in the spooky hor­ror fran­chise.

In 2013, the sec­ond in­stall­ment col­lected more than $40 mil­lion in its open­ing week­end. That was three times more than what the orig­i­nal “In­sid­i­ous” took in dur­ing its first week­end in 2011.

Given the suc­cess of the fran­chise and de­cent 60% pos­i­tive rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes, “In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 3” should fare well among movie­go­ers.

“En­tourage,” which cost less than $30 mil­lion to make, had a solid start, col­lect­ing $5.4 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally since it rolled out. How­ever, Warner Bros., which is re­leas­ing the film, never ex­pected it to be the No. 1 film of the week­end be­cause of the stiff com­pe­ti­tion.

Writ­ten and di­rected by se­ries cre­ator Doug Ellin, “En­tourage” picks up shortly af­ter the 2011 TV fi­nale with the boys — Hol­ly­wood star Vin­cent Chase (Adrian Gre­nier), E. (Kevin Con­nolly), Tur­tle (Jerry Fer­rara) and Drama (Kevin Dil­lon) — back to their usual shenani­gans.

20th Cen­tur y Fox

FE­MALE FILM­GO­ERS prob­a­bly will be the key au­di­ence for “Spy.” Above, Melissa McCarthy, left, faces down Nar­gis Fakhri in a scene from the com­edy.

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