Warner Bros. is banking that audiences want to find themselves between a Rock and a Hart Place (get it?) when Central Intelligence opens next weekend. The action comedy is headlined by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart and hopes to become the first breakout comedy of summer 2016. Rawson Marshall Thurber directs and he’s had success in the genre before with Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and We’re the Millers. Costars include Amy Ryan and Aaron Paul.
As mentioned, this season so far has not been kind to comedies as Neighbors 2, The Nice Guys, and Popstar have all performed with unimpressive results. The one two punch of Johnson and Hart should be a benefit. Hart’s last two pics, Ride Along 2 and Get Hard, both debuted in the mid-30s. While some of the parents that this film is marketing to might be busy taking their little ones to Finding Dory, I don’t see much reason why this wouldn’t accomplish similar results.
A decent comp could be last summer’s Spy with Melissa McCarthy, which opened to $29 million. I’ll say Central Intelligence manages to outdo it and be more in range with Hart’s recent efforts.
Central Intelligence opening weekend prediction: $34.1 million
For my Finding Dory prediction, click here: