Moviegoers’ fling with “Captain America” ended this weekend as “The Other Woman” knocked the superhero out of the top box office spot.
The romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and supermodel Kate Upton debuted with a healthy $24.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor 20th Century Fox. Meanwhile, after coming in at No. 1 for three consecutive weekends, the “Captain America” sequel had to settle for the runner-up position with $16 million in sales. Since opening earlier this month, the Marvel flick has already grossed more than $645 million worldwide -- about 65% of which was collected overseas.
Despite earning the worst reviews of any of the weekend’s new offerings, “The Other Woman” still proved intriguing to a largely female audience. Those who saw the film -- 75% of whom were women -- assigned the picture an average grade of B+, according to market research firm CinemaScore.
Fox financed the film for roughly $40 million, meaning it has a good shot of doing healthy business for the studio by the end of its run. The movie stars Mann as a guileless housewife who discovers her husband (“Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has been cheating on her with multiple women. She and some of his other conquests -- played by Diaz and Upton -- become unlikely friends and gang together to plot revenge on the scumbag.
As a leading lady, Diaz has proved to be a relatively reliable box office draw in recent years. While her ensemble projects, such as “The Counselor” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” didn’t make waves at the multiplex, her raunchy comedy “Bad Teacher” grossed over $200 million globally in 2011. The 41-year-old star may now be on pace for a big 2014: In July, she’ll appear in the comedy “Sex Tape” with Jason Segel, followed by December’s remake of “Annie,” in which she’ll play the iconic Miss Hannigan.
“I think the combination of the three leads was a big draw, but Cameron has a great track record with comedies,” said Spencer Klein, the studio’s senior vice president general sales manager. “Once again, you see the power of a female-driven comedy.”
The two other new films that hit theaters this weekend -- Paul Walker’s penultimate film “Brick Mansions” and the horror flick “The Quiet Ones” -- each failed to resonate with a broad audience. The dystopian action flick “Brick Mansions,” a remake of the 2004 French film “Banlieue 13,” opened with a soft $9.6 million. The film stars Walker as a cop tasked with taking down a crime lord (RZA) in a dangerous, sectioned-off part of Detroit.
Like “The Other Woman,” reviewers weren’t kind to “Brick Mansions,” but filmgoers still gave the movie a B+ CinemaScore this weekend. The picture, which attracted a slightly older male crowd, was financed by filmmaker Luc Besson’s production company EuropaCorp for $28 million. Distributor Relativity Media declined to discuss the film’s performance, but in a prepared statement said it was “pleased” with the opening and "delivered Paul’s fans the type of action movie that he loved and was known for around the world.”
Walker was killed in a car crash at age 40 last November. At the time of his death, Relativity had yet to set a release date for the picture. In February, the studio decided to launch the film ahead of the crowded summer blockbuster period.
The actor’s final film, the seventh entry in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, was initially set to hit theaters this summer, but has since been postponed until April 2015. The movie is still in production, with Walker’s two brothers serving as stand-ins for their sibling to help complete his unfinished scenes.
As for “The Quiet Ones,” the low-budget scary movie didn’t make much noise at the box office this weekend. The Lionsgate release, a London-set tale about a professor experimenting on a girl who appears to have ties to the supernatural world, launched with a dismal $4 million. And with a C+ CinemaScore, it seems unlikely we’ll be hearing much about the “The Quiet Ones” in the weeks to come.