Jason Bourne returns with $60m in opening weekend as Bad Moms delivers

After 10-year hiatus, Matt Damon still draws a significant audience and R-rated comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell brings in $23.4m

Between the return of Matt Damon as super spy Jason Bourne, the promise of laughing along with a few fed-up ladies in the raunchy comedy Bad Moms and the dark internet thriller Nerve, there was something new for everyone in theaters this weekend.

Even after a nearly 10-year hiatus from the series, Damon still draws a significant audience. His Paul Greengrass-directed sequel raked in a healthy $60m in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Not adjusted for inflation, it was the second-highest opening of the series, behind The Bourne Ultimatums $69.3m debut in 2007, the last time Damon appeared as the Robert Ludlum-authored character.

Universal kept awareness high in the lead-up to the release with airings of the Damon Bourne trilogy on eight of NBCUniversals networks. Social media channels also pushed out a video where Damon recaps the previous three films in 90 seconds.

In the exit polls, the No 1 reason for people checking it out was the previous films, said Nick Carpou, Universals president of domestic distribution. Audiences were ready for it and satisfied. According to exit data, audiences were 55% male and 60% over the age of 35.

The original R-rated comedy Bad Moms, from the writers of The Hangover, also had reason to crack open the champagne. The STX Entertainment film, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as a trio of moms on the edge, blew past its $20m budget to take in $23.4m in its first days in theaters.

An estimated 82% of the audience was female, and 48% was over 34. Bad Moms earned solid A CinemaScore from first-weekend audiences, indicating that it should continue to gain traction in the coming weeks.

This was a classic case of counter-programming, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. To compete on that level with two of the biggest names in box office history (Bourne and Star Trek) is impressive. It tells you that late in the summer, this is what people are looking for something different and edgy.

Bad Moms, which debuted at No 3, barely missed second place to Star Trek Beyond, which fell 59% in its second weekend in theaters with $24m. The Paramount sequel has earned $105.7m to date.

The Secret Life of Pets continues to perform extremely well, taking fourth place with $18.2m even after four weekends in theaters. The Illumination Entertainment and Universal film has earned a total of $296.2m.

In fifth place, the micro-budget thriller <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/19/lights-out-review-david-sandberg-horror-film” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>Lights Out took in $10.8m. The film cost only $5m to make and has already grossed $42.9m. The youthful thriller Nerve also did well, taking in $15.1m since launching on Wednesday. It earned $9m over the weekend for an eighth-place finish. Starring Dave Franco and Emma Roberts, Nerve cost a reported $20m to make.

Overall, the box office was up nearly 30% from this weekend last year and up 3% for the year.

This has been a summer with some of the biggest ups and downs that Ive ever seen, Dergarabedian said. This is the late summer push that weve all been hoping for.

Next week should prove even bigger, with the release of the superhero ensemble movie Suicide Squad.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/31/jason-bourne-opening-weekend-matt-damon-bad-moms

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