‘Neighbors 2,’ ‘Angry Birds Movie’ Aim Slingshot at ‘Captain America’ in Tight 3-Way Race

Sony’s animated feature targets $38 million weekend in heated fight for first place

Last Updated: May 19, 2016 @ 2:16 AM

“Captain America: Civil War” will have to claw to hold onto its first-place box office spot as this weekend looks to be a pitched battle between the hit Disney-Marvel sequel and newcomers “The Angry Birds Movie” from Sony and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” from Universal.

It may come down to a photo finish, as all three films are expected to gross in the mid-to-high $30 millions, respectively.

“The Nice Guys,” distributed by Warner Bros. and directed by Shane Black, won’t be a factor in the fight for first (and the studio knows it). And it’s not yet clear whether the crime comedy, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, will make good on its reported $50 million production budget (plus added marketing costs) with an expected opening of approximately $10 million.

The film revolves around two offbeat private eyes in 1970s Los Angeles tasked with following up on the apparent suicide of a fading porn star.

Meanwhile, early tracking has “Angry Birds” opening at roughly $40 million, with the studio estimate set below that at roughly $38 million. Based on the popular Rovio video game, the film’s production budget is said to be $80 million.

With a voice cast featuring Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon and Sean Penn, “Angry Birds” explores why the flightless creatures are so ticked off to begin with as green pigs invade their island.

Alongside new addition Chloe Grace Moretz, Seth RogenRose Byrne and Zac Efron reprise their roles in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” expected to bring in roughly $36 million in domestic box office grosses — and make back its $35 million production budget — upon opening.

With “Civil War” also tracking at around $36 million, it’s looking like “Birds” may just win the weekend by a beak.