Movie Stars: McCarthy, Melissa–What Makes the Comedienne Run?

The Boss, Melissa McCarthy new comedy, did solid business on Thursday night, launching with $985,000 at 2,533 North American sites.

The budget of the film is low, only $29 million, so it should be profitable picture for Universal.

The first weekend of Universal’s The Boss, which is opening at 3,482 locations, is expected to gross about $21 million.

“The Boss” opened with a nearly identical preview number to McCarthy’s 2013 hit “The Heat,” which saw $1 million in previews on its way to a $39 million debut weekend.

McCarthy, one of the most consistent box office forces in comedy, portrays a former billionaire sent to prison for insider trading. Her money-hungry post-prison character teams with her former assistant, played by Kristen Bell, and adolescent girls to build a brownie-selling empire.

Reviews for The Boss have been negative with a 20% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes — compared with 94% for last summer’s “Spy,” which opened with $29.1 million and went on to gross $110 million domestically.

McCarthy’s spouse Ben Falcone directs the film. The couple produces “The Boss” through their On the Day production company along with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy’s Gary Sanchez Productions.