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Avengers' long shadow lingers over box office debuts 'Party,' 'Breaking In'

Two more debut films will throw themselves into the path of juggernaut "Avengers: Infinity War" and will likely be left sweeping up what's leftover of Walt Disney Co.'s box office carnage.

At the top of the debut list, Melissa McCarthy will try to draw out some adult-themed laughs with "Life of the Party" about a housewife-turned-college girl following a divorce. For the opening weekend, Variety and Deadline Hollywood both give the comedy a shot at $18 million to $21 million. BoxOffice.com comes in firm at the top of that range with a $21 million forecast for the three-night debut.

SNL ImageSource: Warner Bros.

That result would put "Life of the Party" right in the pocket for adult female and collegiate comedies, such as "Old School," "Tammy" and "Sisters." A list of these comparable films saw an average opening gross of $21.1 million. That penciled out to an encouraging average profit margin of 10.8%."Old School" was a particularly encouraging performer, opening to $17.5 million but exiting with a solid $100.6 million in profit. Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. studio will hope to avoid the fate of another McCarthy film "The Boss," which opened to $23.6 million but exited with a $37.3 million loss. Film comparisons were compiled by Kagan, a media research group inside S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Critics are rarely amenable to McCarthy comedies, and "Life of the Party" was no exception. The title was running a 40% "rotten" rating as of 8:30 a.m. ET on May 11.

Forecasts for the third weekend of "Infinity War," meanwhile, put it generally in the upper-$50 million range, with some projections going down to $50 million and some going up to $63 million.

Another debut film "Breaking In," a Gabrielle Union-led action thriller from Comcast Corp.'s Universal Pictures, will likely follow behind "Life of the Party." BoxOffice.com is forecasting a $15 million weekend bow, while Variety and Deadline again agree on a range of $14 million to $17 million for the debut.

Though Union's performance in the film is getting generally positive feedback, the film itself is falling flat with critics. Rotten Tomatoes put the title at a 32% "rotten" rating, as of 8:30 a.m. ET on May 11.

Kagan comparisons for the film are not particularly encouraging either. The average opening of titles like "Panic Room," "No Good Deed" and "The Brave One" came to a respectable $19.0 million, but that penciled out to an average net loss of $7.9 million.

SNL Image