But no matter which film takes the weekend crown, McCarthy is already the true winner, because she has proved to be Kryptonite to critical opinion yet again.
Not only does “The Boss” rate only an average critical score of “40” on MetaCritic.com — below even “Batman v Superman’s” “44” — but that’s still a better score than nearly half her films.
In the past two years, McCarthy has had two critically well-received films in last year’s “Spy” and “St. Vincent” a year earlier. Yet those are the only two positively reviewed films on MetaCritic since her breakout big-screen role in 2011’s “Bridesmaids.”
Just as often lately, McCarthy is skidding along to negative to decidedly mixed reviews for “Tammy” (score: 39), “Identity Thief” (35) and “The Hangover Part III” (30) (though her role in that last one was smaller).
Yet at the box office, any critical sniping is rendered moot by the sound of audience laughter. “Identity Thief” grossed $174-million globally on a $35-million budget; “Tammy” grossed $100-million on a $20-million budget. For comparison’s sake, her well-received “Spy” did $236-million on a $64-million budget.
The bottom line is that McCarthy is usually money in the bank when toplining a rationally budgeted comedy, even though her average MetaCritic score is s lowly 50.
She, in other words, is on the kind of streak that Adam Sandler long enjoyed: The “Mike & Molly” actress is beloved by enough filmgoers for her brand of comedy that any critical opinion is akin to whispering in a crowded theater. The professional howling can’t rise above the din of the cash register.
And if McCarthy is the true resilient superhero of popular comedy right now, then who’s her ultimate Batman in this scenario?
That, of course, would be hubby Ben Falcone, with whom she so memorably acted in “Bridesmaids.” Falcone not only has appeared in most of her recent films; he also directed and co-wrote “Tammy” and now “The Boss.”
McCarthy’s dozen films have now grossed a billion dollars domestically, most of that since she crossed over to movie stardom. She has the Midas touch in comedy, in terms of creating box-office gold. She is the audience’s superhero comedian, impervious to media detractors.
Now, if only a director would put her in a superhero comedy.