Weekend Box Office: ‘The Other Woman’ steals No. 1 spot before summer

In the final weekend before the summer season, the box office was alive and kicking.

After dominating the last three weekends, Captain America: The Winter Soldier finally lost the No. 1 spot to the revenge romantic comedy The Other Woman, which wrangled $24.76M. While not as strong as Cameron Diaz’s 2011 hit Bad Teacher, which is now a show on CBS, it’s still a strong opening for a romantic comedy, especially in a weekend that, at least until recently, used to be a dead zone for films.

Starring Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton as three women getting back at the womanizing man that’s been lying and cheating with all three of them (Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), The Other Woman did a good job of playing up the shenanigans and dynamics between the three female leads.  While it’s nothing new plot-wise (the film is essentially a younger, blonder version of The First Wives Club), it played to the strengths of the characters — and yes, we’re counting Upton’s ditziness as a strength.

Directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper), one of the film’s major draws is, sadly, the novelty of a film featuring three female leads. While the romantic comedy genre has seen more busts than breakouts lately (unless you want to count Silver Linings Playbook), this was able to appeal to an audience that, it bears reminding, comprises of 52 percent of moviegoers.

The next three films were also the top three films last week. Captain America had another large drop to $16.2M for a total of $225.1M and an international total of $645.36M.

The faith-based breakout Heaven is for Real finished in third with $14.35M, bringing its total to $52.46M. This is a film that cost only $12M, so everything from here on out is icing on the cake.

In fourth was Rio 2 with $13.88M and a total just shy of $96.39M. Its pace is still behind the first Rio, but Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox should still be happy with the result — not to mention it’ll be the only animated option for families throughout the month of May.

The second new release of the weekend, Brick Mansions, opened at fifth place with $9.5M. An American remake of the Luc Besson-produced parkour thriller District B13, this film was notable for being the last film that starred Paul Walker, who died last year in a car accident. Also starring David Belle and RZA, trailers and other marketing played it straight with Walker’s presence without seeming insensitive.

While the film was never expected to set the world on fire (the original District B13 was more of a cult film than a blockbuster even in international markets), the billing of Paul Walker likely gave this film more awareness than it normally would have. And while the reviews were poor, the film seemed to show an actor that was coming into his own as a lead, making his loss that much harder.

At seventh place was the third new release of the weekend, The Quiet Ones, which opened to an awful $3.88M. That’s just a third of what Oculus opened to just two weekends ago, which many pundits considered a disappointment. Starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin and Olivia Cooke, the film dealt with a more intriguing slant on the paranormal genre, loosely based on a controversial parapsychology experiment from the seventies.

But the marketing hit just about every cliche in the book. Even with the prestige of coming from Hammer Film Productions, the historical British Gothic horror studio that recently came back to prominence with The Woman in Black, the film just couldn’t distinguish itself, leading to one of the worst openings ever for a paranormal horror wide release.

But beyond that doom and gloom, next week is the start of what should be an epic summer season, with a range of anticipated superhero movies (Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past), comedies (Neighbors, 22 Jump Street), sequels (How To Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction), and even the King of the Monsters (Godzilla). It should be a blast!