Box Office Mojo:
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron hosted a party at the movies this weekend, and audiences showed up in droves for it.
Playing at 3,279 locations, Neighbors opened to an incredible $49 million. That's one of the biggest debuts ever for an original R-rated comedy.
Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell hard in its second outing. Still, the superhero sequel is making up for its domestic shortcomings with strong overseas earnings.
Among original R-rated comedies, Neighbors trailed Ted ($54.4 million) and Sex and the City ($57 million, and debatably "original"). At the same time, it was ahead of major R-rated hits like The Hangover, The Heat and 21 Jump Street. It's also the biggest debut ever for a live-action Seth Rogen movie ahead of The Green Hornet ($33.5 million).
From its first preview, Neighbors looked like a hit. The comedy had a relatable, clearly-articulated premise ("Family vs. Frat") that was hammered home in all of the marketing material. That included plenty of strong visual jokes—the airbag was particularly memorable—that flowed naturally from that set-up. Universal's aggressive, confident marketing campaign began last year, and culminated with a publicity blitz and tons of word-of-mouth screenings. Even with all of this, though, a debut close to $50 million is nothing short of remarkable.
Neighbors is Universal's fourth original movie to open in first place at the domestic box office this year: the other three are Lone Survivor, Ride Along and Non-Stop. Each movie has served as a reminder that audiences crave fresh stories that feature characters they can relate to.
The audience for Neighbors was 53 percent female and 47 percent under the age of 25. That suggests Efron had as much to do with this debut as Rogen. Of course, let's not forget about Rose Byrne, who showed off comedy chops in Universal's 2011 hit Bridemaids, and surely helped get some women to the movie as well.
Neighbors received a "B" CinemaScore, which isn't great for an R-rated comedy. Add in the younger-than-average audience, and this may not hold up as well as movies like The Heat or Ted. Still, it's a safe bet that it winds up with at least $140 million.
Coinciding with its domestic debut, Neighbors opened in 29 foreign markets and earned a very impressive $34.4 million. That's more than This is the End made in its entire run ($24.6 million).
The movie is known as Bad Neighbours in the U.K. and Australia, which were both huge markets for it this weekend. Including previews, it opened to $14.7 million in the U.K. and $7.1 million in Australia. Both of those are best-ever results for Seth Rogen. It also took first place in 15 other markets, so it's well-positioned to be a major international hit ($100 million is a guarantee at this point).
One note on the CinemaScore. Usually a movie with as many favorable tweets as Neighbors has a higher score so the B is a little surprising. But because CinemaScore uses such an incredibly limited sample, most people think it is basically meaningless anyway. Opinion will be better reflected in the numbers for next weekend tbh.
I think Universal has enough money left over to put in the best hot tub ever!