'Spy' expected to top 'Entourage,' 'Insidious: Chapter 3' at box office

#boxoffice forecast: 'Spy' to reel in more than 'Entourage,' 'Insidious: Chapter 3'

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 will likely 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 around $25 million.

Meanwhile, the big-screen adaptation of HBO's "Entourage," which rolled out in theaters on Tuesday evening, is expected to pull in between $14 million to $17 million over its five-day opening. "San Andreas," last weekend's No. 1 film, will likely fall about 50% in ticket sales in its second weekend. 

Female filmgoers, who have already flexed their box office clout this summer, will likely be the key demographic audience for "Spy," which is being released by Twentieth 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.

It is the third time that director Paul Feig has partnered up with McCarthy. The two worked together on the 2013 comedy "The Heat" and the 2011 comedy "Bridesmaids," which also starred Byrne.

Many have been buzzing about the film since its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March. 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.

Franchise co-creator James Wan, who recently directed the successful "Furious 7" film, serves as producer, along with Jason Blum and “Paranormal Activity” creator Oren Peli.

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. The marketing campaign for the third installment is geared toward the core franchise fan base, which skews under the age of 25.

"Entourage," which cost under $30 million to make, had a solid start, collecting $5.4 million domestically since it rolled out on Tuesday evening. However, Warner Bros., which is releasing the film, never expected it to be the No. 1 film of the weekend due to 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. 

The film also features a handful of celebrity cameos, including Pharrell Williams, Jessica Alba, Liam Neeson, Warren Buffett and Tom Brady. Mark Wahlberg, producer and series inspiration, also makes an appearance.

Though the "Entourage" series has a cult following, especially among male audiences, some critics have bashed the show for glorifying a storyline about shallow dudes who objectify women. The film has received similar unfavorable reviews. It racked up a 32% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"San Andreas," co-produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures at a cost of $110 million, stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a helicopter pilot who is searching for his daughter during a massive earthquake. 

Positive word-of-mouth, reflected in a strong grade of A-minus from audience polling firm CinemaScore, helped the film exceed expectations with a $54.6-million debut in the United States and Canada. Tracking suggests it will add up to $26 million in its second weekend.

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h on Twitter.

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