25 April 2016

Melissa McCarthy fights off critics, Batman and Superman to top US box office

The Melissa McCarthy-led comedy The Boss dethroned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to take the No 1 spot at the US box office last weekend with an estimated opening of $23.48m (£16.53m).

The Boss, directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, triumphed despite failing to pick up the kind of positive reviews that usually greet the actor’s collaborations with Paul Feig. The film, starring the Bridesmaids actor as a former business heavyweight struggling to rebuild her life after completing a jail sentence for insider trading, has a rating of just 17% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoesand was labelled an “unfunny, chaotic mess of ludicrous plotting and tone-deaf set-pieces” by Jordan Hoffman in the Guardian.

Victory for The Boss meant Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman slipped off the top spot after just two weeks at No 1, despite its barnstorming $166m opening a fortnight ago. The movie now boasts $296.6m in North America and $783.4m worldwide, but looks likely to fall short of the magic $1bn mark. However, its third-weekend haul of $23.435m was only just short of that garnered by The Boss, and Snyder’s movie could yet pull ahead when final estimates are in.

Batman v Superman this week became the highest-grossing superhero film of 2016 so far, overtaking Deadpool, and is the second highest-grossing movie overall behind Zootopia (Zootropolis in the UK). But derisive reviews and the film’s record-breaking second-weekend revenue drop have led to plenty of industry navel-gazing over whether Warner Bros now needs a Marvel-style central executive to oversee its ambitious plans for a DC Comics-based “cinematic universe”.

Zootopia slipped one spot to third place this time around, its $14.3m sixth-weekend haul taking Disney’s animated tale of a city populated by talking animals to a total of $296m in North America. Comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 also dropped one place to fourth with a third-weekend gross of $6.4m and a total of $46.7m.

The only other new film to make the top 10 was the much-discussed sci-fi action movie Hardcore Henry, which was shot almost entirely from a first-person perspective using the GoPro Hero 3 camera. Ilya Naishuller’s film, which stars Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett and Tim Roth, was in fifth place, made $5m on debut.

Despite its innovative style, Hardcore Henry received mixed reviews. “Hardcore taps into a 14-year-old boy’s brain, marinating in a vat of Mountain Dew, fantasising about high-energy kills, lusty women and loud music,” wrote Hoffmanin September.

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