Although writer/director Tony Gilroy and co-writer Dan Gilroy’s 2012 action/thriller The Bourne Legacy didn’t receive the warmest critical reception when it debuted in theaters this week, moviegoers don’t seem to care. According to Variety, the latest installment in the popular Bourne franchise topped the Friday box office with $14 million in ticket sales. Universal, of course, hopes the film continues this momentum through the weekend.
The film, which features The Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner as the film’s genetically-altered hero, is the first entry in the series in over five years. Matt Damon famously brought tortured killing machine Jason Bourne to life in the first three films. In addition to Renner, the picture also stars Scott Glenn, Stacey Keach, and former Hulk Edward Norton.
Variety also reports that The Bourne Legacy is on schedule to knock Christopher Nolan’s superhero epic The Dark Knight Rises from the top spot, where it’s been camped out for three straight weeks. The latest Batman flick snagged an estimated $5.6 million on Friday.
In related news, Austin Powers filmmaker Jay Roach’s The Candidate, which stars funnymen Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, and Jason Sudeikis, has already collected a cool $10.3 million, making the R-rated comedy a strong contender for second place.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep comedy Hope Springs generated $4.7 million in ticket sales, a small figure when compared to its competitors. The film’s distributor, Sony Pictures, ultimately hopes the feature will become a sleeper hit with older audiences.
As the summer box office slowly begins to wind down, the number of high-profile features is starting to dwindle. Next week, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and action veteran and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are set to debut their over-the-top explosion-fest The Expendables 2, a sequel to Stallone and company’s 2010 hit.