'Avengers' Beat All This Weekend's New Releases
Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon's new buddy comedy was unfortunately not in hot pursuit of Avengers: Age of Ultron. All in all, none of this week's new releases were able to touch last week's major release, the latest installment in the Marvel franchise. This Mother's Day weekend, the Joss Whedon-directed action flick came in a clear first, making $77.1 million. While it would have been miraculous for Hot Pursuit to touch Ultron, the Anne Fletcher-directed film was expected to make close to $20 million. The movie follows an uptight cop (Witherspoon) as she tries to protect a drug dealer's widow (Vergara) on a chase across the country. While the film still came in second at the box office, it only earned $13.3 million. This is sad news for those excited for a female-driven buddy cop film; so were the terrible reviews.
The other two films to open this weekend were Jack Black's similarly panned dark comedy The D Train. The film, following an unpopular guy (Black) who tries to turn over a new leaf by organizing a reunion, premiered at Sundance and was produced by IFC Films. Though most of the studio's films see very limited release, IFC presumably thought Jack Black's star quality could pull in a wider releases. Unfortunately, for a film opening in a thousand theaters, it only made $469,185 total.
Another film resting on the strength of its leading man, in this case Arnold Schwarzenegger, saw a very small release. The zombie thriller Maggie made $125,000, though it did only open in a few dozen theaters. It stars Schwarzenegger as a dad who'll stop at nothing to save his daughter (Abigail Breslin) from the zombie virus.
Holdovers The Age of Adaline, Furious 7, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 came in after Ultron and Hot Pursuit. In general, this was not a very critically acclaimed box office weekend. While Avengers and Furious 7 have better ratings than the rest, they have been seen as generally weaker than their predecessors. And then there's Paul Blart. The summer slump has officially begun, but next weekend looks far more promising; we have Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2 to look forward to.