The Other Woman, a much-hyped female-centric revenge comedy which features swimsuit model Kate Upton in the biggest of her three film roles so far, opened to a strong showing at the box office Friday, and appears on track to dethrone current box office champ Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which has reigned for three weekends.
The encouraging box office numbers, which appear on track to reach $20 million for the weekend, come despite the overwhelmingly negative, even scathing reviews for the Nick Cassavetes-directed comedy, which stars Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann along with Kate Upton.
The three stars play women who are all unknowingly in a relationship with the same man, played by 43-year-old Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his role as "Jamie Lannister" on the HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones. In the plot, when each woman learns of the other, they form a bond and conspire to extract revenge on the Coster-Waldau character, "Mark."
The Other Woman opened last week in Australia, where by mid-week it had pulled ahead of Marvel Comics blockbuster Amazing Spider-Man 2, earning $8.6 million through Friday.
The Other Woman also opens this weekend in 28 additional overseas markets.
While the film's performance out of the gate, appears to show an audience demand for female-driven comedies — and the widely publicized footage of the curvaceous 21-year-old Upton running on a beach in a bikini certainly did not hurt marketing efforts for the $40 million budgeted movie — the film is receiving a drubbing from critics.
Next weekend, then, will be the true test of the film, and perhaps of Kate Upton's drawing power, as audiences will decide whether they agree with the critics about The Other Woman, which would lead to a steep box-office slide. Or if they feel that the film reviewers are off base.
On the film review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes, The Other Woman currently has an anemic 24 percent positive rating from critics. But 20,359 audience members give The Other Woman a thumbs-up at a passable, though not spectacular, 66 percent rate.
Hitfix critic Drew McWeeney described The Other Woman as "a largely ridiculous look at crappy rich white people who seem to have nothing to worry about besides what they do with their naughty bits," going on to call the film "phony from beginning to end."
The Philadelphia Inquirer called The Other Woman "unbearable" though it singled out Mann's performance as a lone bright spot.
The Film School Rejects site also praised Mann's performance, while dismissing the rest of the film as "a rather s***** affair." Though saying that Upton possesses nothing "resembling acting talent," the site's review does praise the swimsuit model for breaking with the current Hollywood standard of female beauty which requires actresses to be unnaturally skinny.
Praising Kate Upton's "woman's body," the review marvels, "She's not rail-thin!"
The San Francisco Chronicle was one of the few outlets that enjoyed the film, calling The Other Woman a "smart comedy, with edge."