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'Spy' tops the box office over 'Entourage,' 'San Andreas'

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(Read caption) 'Spy' stars Melissa McCarthy (r.) and Allison Janney (l.).

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Melissa McCarthy’s new comedy “Spy” topped the box office this past weekend, coming in first over “Entourage,” horror movie “Insidious: Chapter Three,” and disaster film “San Andreas.” 

“Spy” grossed $30 million domestically, according to the Associated Press, while “San Andreas,” which was first released on May 29, came in second with more than $26 million. New horror movie “Insidious” was third with $23 million and “Entourage,” the new release which was based on the HBO show of the same name, grossed more than $10 million. 

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As noted by the website IndieWire, “Spy” didn’t have the highest-grossing opening weekend of McCarthy’s films – quite the opposite. Her recent comedy with Sandra Bullock, “The Heat,” opened to $39 million and “Identity Thief” opened with $34 million.

And the disappointing performance by “Entourage” can't be blamed solely on being released against "Spy." The film currently holds a meager Metacritic review aggregate score of 38. Meanwhile, Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros., which released “Entourage,” said those who viewed the movie as having the same potential as the 2008 movie “Sex and the City” were incorrect, according to the AP. IndieWire writer Tom Brueggemann agreed, writing, “The key differences from ‘Sex and the City’ are not only a lower zeitgeist-level for the Hollywood-posse comedy series, despite its one-time popularity, but mainly where its appeal lies. Sixty-four percent of its audience was male, and its tough to sustain a movie opening domestically when it's skewed in one direction … Also, even more widely than a decade ago, cable is now seen by many as the superior creative venue that doesn't need theatrical validation, which used to be the mark of prestige.” 

But apart from these other factors, the contrast between “Spy” and “Entourage” is interesting. As we noted before, “Spy” finds McCarthy headlining the movie and doesn’t revolve around her getting a guy. Meanwhile, many critics wrote that for the most part, the portrayal of women in “Entourage” isn’t stellar. Hollywood Reporter writer Sheri Linden wrote that “Whether artistic or emotional, evolution isn’t much of a player in this boys-will-be-boys universe of arrested development. The film’s opening scene is especially disheartening on that front, with its yacht full of bikini-clad women off the coast of Ibiza – could there be a more lazy and uncreative shorthand for ‘hotshot lifestyle’?” Alonso Duralde of TheWrap wrote that “In this movie’s world, women exist almost exclusively to have babies and/or make problems” and the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday wrote that “When women aren’t being idolized as ingenues, models and baby mamas, they’re being degraded as wifely scolds and objects of leering lust … and outright contempt, by way of Drama’s startlingly nasty asides. One exception to the rule, barely, is Turtle’s love interest, who is played in a steely, askance-looking turn by the mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey.” 

When “Spy” star Melissa McCarthy is earning praise for standing out "in a sea of cinematic sameness" and for playing a character with "subtle emotional shading," it's hard not to see some hope in the fact that more audience members checked out the McCarthy comedy.