By JAKE COYLE
AP Film Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Melissa McCarthy left the guys of “Entourage” in the dust, landing her first No. 1 box-office debut as a leading lady with an estimated $30 million weekend for the espionage comedy “Spy.”
The result added to the string of successes for McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig, who first united on the 2011 hit “Bridesmaids.” While “Spy” fell short of the $39.1 million debut of their 2013 comedy “The Heat,” with Sandra Bullock, and came in a tad lower than some predicted, it was good enough to win a weekend lacking blockbuster punch but crowded with action, horror and the resurrected HBO series.
“It sets the table for a fantastic long run,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox.
The R-rated, action-heavy “Spy,” made for about $65 million, will depend on word-of-mouth and its generally glowing reviews to propel it further in the coming weeks. The film, in which McCarthy plays a desk-bound CIA officer sent into a James Bond-like European caper, has already made $56.5 million overseas.
Last week’s top film, “San Andreas,” the disaster movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, slid to second place with $26.4 million. “Insidious: Chapter 3” opened with an estimated $23 million, a strong debut for the low-budget horror prequel from Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.
But HBO’s “Entourage,” made for about $30 million, failed to compete with those releases. The film, released about four years after the series concluded, made $10.4 million over the weekend and has brought in a five-day total of $17.8 million since opening Wednesday.
Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., said advance tracking for the film had been soft and that comparisons to “Sex and the City” _ another post-finale HBO adaptation _ weren’t accurate. That 2008 release opened with $57 million.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak said that while the individual results for the weekend likely meant profitability for their distributors, the marketplace is suffering from a lack of momentum after a string of lackluster weekends, particularly a weak Memorial Day holiday when Disney’s “Tomorrowland” opened flatly.
“This is our third down weekend in a row. It takes some wind out of our sails,” Dergarabedian said. “We need a hit like `Jurassic World’ and we needed it yesterday.”
Universal’s “Jurassic World” opens Friday with expectations of a $100 million-plus opening.
In a medium-sized release, the acclaimed Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions drama “Love & Mercy,” which stars Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson, opened with $2.2 million on 483 screens.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Spy,” $30 million ($25.6 million international).
2. “San Andreas,” $26.4 million ($97.8 million international).
3. “Insidious: Chapter 3,” $23 million ($14.3 million international).
4. “Entourage,” $10.4 million ($3 million international).
5. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” $8 million ($11 million international).
6. “Pitch Perfect 2,” $7.7 million ($4.6 million international).
7. “Tomorrowland,” $7 million ($13.8 million international).
8. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” $6.2 million ($7 million international).
9. “Aloha,” $3.3 million ($1.6 million international).
10. “Poltergeist,” $2.8 million ($3.2 million international).