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'Jason Bourne' wins with $60 million, 'Bad Moms' scores

Between the return of Matt Damon as super spy "Jason Bourne," the promise of laughing along with a few fed-up ladies in the raunchy comedy "Bad Moms" and the dark internet thriller "Nerve," all of which had strong debuts, there was something new for everyone in theaters this weekend.

Even after a nearly 10-year hiatus, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne still draws a significant audience. The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel raked in a healthy $60 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Not adjusted for inflation, it's the second highest opening of the series, behind "The Bourne Ultimatum's" $69.3 million debut in 2007 — the last time Damon appeared as the Robert Ludlum-created character.

With a nine-year gap between films, Universal kept awareness high in the lead up to the release with airings of the Matt Damon "Bourne" trilogy on eight of NBCUniversal's networks. Social media channels also pushed out a video where Matt Damon recaps the previous three films in 90 seconds.

"In the exit polls, the No. 1 reason for people checking it out was the previous films," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "Audiences were ready for it and satisfied."

According to exit data, audiences were 55 percent male, and 60 percent over the age of 35.

The original R-rated comedy "Bad Moms," from the writers of "The Hangover," also had reason to crack open the champagne this weekend. The STX Entertainment film, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as a trio of moms on the edge, blew past its $20 million budget to take in earning $23.4 million in its first days in theaters.

An estimated 82 percent of the audience was female, and 48 percent were over the age of 34. "Bad Moms" earned solid A CinemaScore from first weekend audiences, indicating that the film should continue to gain traction in the coming weeks.

"This was a classic case of counter-programming," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "To compete on that level with two of the biggest names in box office history ('Bourne' and 'Star Trek') is impressive. It tells you that late in the summer, this is what people are looking for — something different and edgy."

"Bad Moms," which debuted at No. 3, just barely missed second place to "Star Trek Beyond," which fell 59 percent in its second weekend in theaters with $24 million. The Paramount sequel has earned $105.7 million to date.

"The Secret Life of Pets" continues to perform extremely well, taking fourth place with $18.2 million even after four weekends in theaters. The Illumination Entertainment and Universal film has earned a total of $296.2 million.

In fifth place, the micro-budget thriller "Lights Out" took in $10.8 million. The film cost only $5 million to make and has already grossed $42.9 million.

The youthful thriller "Nerve" also did well, taking in $15.1 million since launching on Wednesday. It earned $9 million over the weekend for an 8th place finish. Starring Dave Franco and Emma Roberts, "Nerve" cost a reported $20 million to make.

Overall, the box office is up nearly 30 percent from this weekend last year and up 3 percent for the year.

"This has been a summer with some of the biggest ups and downs that I've ever seen," Dergarabedian said. "This is the late summer push that we've all been hoping for."

Next week should prove even bigger too with the release of "Suicide Squad."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Jason Bourne," $60 million ($50.1 million international).

2. "Star Trek Beyond," $24 million ($13 million international).

3. "Bad Moms," $23.4 million.

4. "The Secret Life of Pets," $18.2 million ($29.5 million international).

5. "Lights Out," $10.8 million ($8.1 million international).

6. "Ice Age: Collision Course," $10.5 million ($19.5 million international).

7. "Ghostbusters," $9.8 million ($10.7 million international).

8. "Nerve," $9 million.

9. "Finding Dory," $4.2 million ($23.6 million international).

10. "The Legend of Tarzan," $2.4 million ($22.4 million international).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Jason Bourne," $50.1 million.

2. "League of Gods," $30 million.

3. "The Secret Life of Pets," $29.5 million.

4. "Finding Dory," $23.6 million.

5. "The Legend of Tarzan," $22.4 million.

6. "Skiptrace," $20.5 million.

7. "Ice Age: Collision Course," $19.5 million.

8. "Operation Chromite," $14.7 million.

9. "Star Trek Beyond," $13 million.

10. "Train to Busan," $12.6 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr

Stunt driver school trains for Georgia's film industry needs

Stuntwoman Natalie Govin found work easily in South Florida — until funds for the state's film incentives program recently went dry.

With more movies such as the "Furious" series and "Need for Speed" filmed in Georgia, Govin didn't want to get caught in Florida's drought. So she moved north to the neighboring state like many of her stunt colleagues.

"It was like a mass exodus," said Govin, who's been a stunt double on several films and TV shows including HBO's "Ballers" and "Rock of Ages." ''We had a very large community in south Florida, but things tapered off. So I had to move to Atlanta. I have to pay the bills."

But without work lined up since arriving in Georgia, Govin decided to sharpen her skills as a stunt driver. That decision is what brought her to Hollywood stunt driver Bobby Ore's school — Bobby Ore Motorsports — in the northern Georgia town of Dawsonville.

In Georgia, the television and film industry had an economic impact of $6 billion during the 2015 fiscal year with 248 productions filmed in the state, according to Gov. Nathan Deal. The state's tax incentives have no cap. In Florida, six the $296 million in allowable tax credits allocated through July 2016 were used up by 2014.

The school, which opened in May, aims to train aspiring stunt drivers who want to break into the state's flourishing film business. The school trains not only stunt drivers, military personnel, law enforcement officers but also members of the public who qualify.

Ore founded the Motion Picture Driving School in 1996 after the constant demand for professional stunt driving training from the Screen Actors Guild. He said it was a "no brainer" businesswise to bring his school to Georgia after Atlanta Motorsports Park officials asked him to hold training sessions there once a month.

Ore said he recognized a significant shift in more films and television shows being brought to Georgia a couple years ago.

"This is a hotspot," said Ore, a former marine who specializes in vehicle dynamics and physics and has more than 40 years of experience in the film industry. His driving credits include "Being John Malkovich," ''Liar Liar," ''Gone in Sixty Seconds," ''Seabiscuit" and "Three Kings."

The school also holds classes at training facilities in Florida and California.

"There are a lot of stunt people moving to Atlanta and Georgia because of all the film business going on here," he said. "We want to give people a chance to take the school and help give people the basic foundation to become a stunt driver."

The excitement of working in Hollywood is not the only lure. Stunt performers can make between $3,200 and $3,400 per week, according to the Screen Actors Guild's theatrical wage table.

Students can learn the craft of pulling off stunts from 90-degree slides and 180-degree turns on mark along with learning how to parallel park while driving 80-miles per hour. They can also ride with Ore while he performs his trademark stunt of driving a car on two wheels.

For military and law enforcement personnel, courses such as counter-terrorist driver training and high speed reverse driving are offered.

Duke Jackson, a 20-year veteran stuntman who is now training for the first time as a stunt driver with Ore, has worked on numerous films and TV shows from "The Divergent Series: Allegiant," ''Captain America: Civil War" and "The Walking Dead" since moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta a few years ago.

"It's harder than it really looks," Jackson said.

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Online:

http://www.bobbyoresports.com

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Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jonathan-landrum

Poof! 'Ghostbusters' tweet cheering Clinton deleted

The studio tweeted "Boo-yah, we smashed your glass ceiling," on Thursday after Clinton became the first woman to lead a major U.S. political party. The message also had the hashtag "ImWithHer," a Clinton campaign motto.

By Friday, it had been deleted. A spokeswoman for Sony told the Los Angeles Times that the tweet "was never intended to be a political endorsement."

The all-female version of "Ghostbusters" stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as a ghost-fighting foursome. It has become a lightning rod to some, in part for the gender of its paranormal pursuers.

Director's debut explores 'The Land' with Nas, Badu help

Director Steven Caple Jr. was mentoring some elementary school students at an inner-city park in Los Angeles when he spotted two stray kids hopping a fence with their skateboards. He went to go kick them out of the park and ended up talking with them instead. They spilled that they were selling marijuana to fund their entry into skateboarding competitions and new equipment. It was their ticket out.

That seed of an idea eventually became "The Land ," Caple's feature debut about a group of kids, Cisco (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), Junior (Moises Arias), Boobie (Ezri Walker) and Patty Cake (Rafi Gavron), who do just that, but with a sack of Ecstasy they find. The film is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles.

Caple stayed in touch with those kids from the park during his time at USC's film school. Later, he found out that one ended up getting a sponsorship. The other disappeared.

"I started writing it about the kid who made it out, but I switched gears to make it about the kid who didn't because we don't see that too often," Caple said in an interview. "I wanted to tell it from his perspective."

Instead of Los Angeles, the movie is set in Caple's hometown of Cleveland, where he explores a grittier side of a city that rarely gets the Hollywood treatment.

"There's Cleveland and there's 'the land,'" he said during the Sundance Film Festival, where the film had its premiere. IFC Films later came on to distribute.

Caple secured some high-profile talent for a first film right out of grad school, including Michael Kenneth Williams of "The Wire" and executive producers like Nas and Erykah Badu, who also collaborated on one of the film's songs, "The Bitter Land." Badu and rapper Machine Gun Kelly appear in the film, and the soundtrack features songs from Kanye West, Pusha T and French Montana.

While skateboarding is the hook, it also becomes a backdrop as the boys get in over their heads bumping up against more hardened criminals.

"The core of it is these boys just trying to get out," he said.

Most of the different characters are taken from Caple's own life and experiences in Cleveland. They filmed in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods and often heard gunshots and sirens.

"There were times when we were scared, but (the actors) got a real sense of what 'the land' was," he said.

Caple didn't want to make the boys angels, and actually introduces them committing a crime. It was a big point of contention with some of the financiers and advisers who were shown the film in its early stages. They wanted to see them as good kids first before the fall.

"That's not the way that people see these kids. The first perception is they are criminals, that they are thugs," Caple said. "I wanted to introduce you to these criminals first and then later let you fall in love with who they are and see that the people who we call criminals at the end of the day are still just kids."

Some also told Caple that he should have made a film that falls more easily into a specific genre, like "'Fast & Furious' on skateboards," he said.

"It has this grit to it. It wasn't like this movie they could sell overseas and play in China. It wasn't a big film," he said.

But Caple stuck to his premise: a more complicated, nuanced and bleak portrait of these lives. It took a year, but he eventually found support and funding for his vision.

"You have filmmakers like myself and ('Creed' and 'Fruitvale Station' director) Ryan Coogler who are like, 'I'm going to go out and get it somehow,' whether it be a Kickstarter campaign or finding the right crazy people just like myself who believe in a project."

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Heath Ledger's death 'was totally his fault,' father says

Kim Ledger, the father of "Batman" actor Heath Ledger, said his son's death eight years ago "was totally his fault."

Ledger was found unresponsive in his New York City apartment in 2008 and was later pronounced dead from an apparent overdose. He was 28.

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"It was no one else's (fault) – he reached for them, he put them in his system," Kim Ledger told The Daily Mail Australia. "You can't blame anyone else in that situation."

Kim Ledger also revealed what it was like to come to this realization.

"(It's) hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him," he told the news outlet.

Kim Ledger said his family tried to help Ledger fight drug addiction just days before his sudden death.

"His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets," he told The Daily Mail Australia. "He said: 'Katie, Katie, I'm fine. I know what I'm doing.' He would have had no idea."

The autopsy report for the "Brokeback Mountain" star revealed that he had traces of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine in his body at the time of death.

Kim Ledger attributed that to Ledger's many doctors.

"Because he was traveling a lot, he would pop in to a doctor," Kim Ledger said. "In the case of someone with a higher profile, it's often a case of 'what do you want' instead of 'what do you need.'"

Kim Ledger said stress from his acting career caused great anxiety in his son's life.

"There's so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it's not good and needs time, it's like 'just take these painkillers and keep going'," Kim Ledger said. "That was the case with Heath."

Pelosi tracks the mega-donors to political campaigns

As she sat overlooking a hotel lobby in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention this week, Alexandra Pelosi said she spied three of the wealthy men featured in her HBO documentary, "Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk?"

For her sake, it's fortunate that the film premieres Monday (9 p.m. EDT), presumably after everyone has left town.

"I think they expected me to come to them and say they could vet this, and I didn't do that," Pelosi said. "So now all that I'm doing is hiding behind bushes."

Pelosi, best known for her 2002 fly-on-the-wall "Journeys With George" documentary about George W. Bush's first presidential campaign, takes us into the fundraisers to meet the people who write big checks for the people who run for president. She deals in a limited way with the corrosive impact of special-interest spending on government action, but wanted to stay mostly out of Washington and to make sure the story wasn't boring.

"This is not a PowerPoint presentation that will be presented at a Harvard review of campaign finance reform," she said. "This is an HBO documentary for a Monday night, when you're competing against 'Undercover Boss.'"

Many of the big donors wouldn't talk to Pelosi. But a surprising number did. Pelosi, daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, already knew many of them from accompanying mom on the canape circuit. Some wanted to demystify the process, annoyed at being vilified as the "billionaire class" by Bernie Sanders, and suggest their influence is exaggerated.

The point was made to comical effect by Brad Freeman, who has given more than a million dollars to the Bush family. He got a call from George W. Bush shortly after he was elected, and visions of grandeur danced in his head; Freeman dreamed of a chance to run the C.I.A. Instead, the conversation turned to Bush's cat, which Freeman had taken a liking to. Bush couldn't bring the cat to the White House. Would Freeman want it?

When people wonder what he got in return for his donations, Freeman says ruefully, "I got the frickin' cat."

What's almost sad is the revelation of how much life is like high school, even in the high-rent district.

Elizabeth Bagley, a donor whose loyalty to the Clintons earned her an ambassadorship to Portugal, proudly displays framed pictures of herself with Bill and Hillary. "Elizabeth — you're the best! Love, Hillary," was inscribed on one. A cardiologist, Bruce Charash, also exhibits photos of himself with politicians including President Barack Obama.

"The more you have pictures of powerful people in your office," he says, "the more powerful people think you are."

Billionaire grocery magnate John Catsimatidis talks about wanting to "pee with the big dogs." He gives to candidates from both parties. "I want to be in a position where I make a call, it will be picked up," he says.

"There are a lot of rich people who aren't the most interesting people," Pelosi said. "This is a way of buying friends, of getting people to show up at your parties."

Many donors have strong feelings about issues and want to be listened to. Pelosi talks to broadcasting executive Stanley Hubbard, her first boss, a conservative who rails about "too many tree-hugging fruitcakes" and dismisses global warming.

"I have never, ever called a politician for help," Hubbard tells her. "But yes, I can get in to talk to him. I get access."

Donors who host fundraising parties often get the same stump speeches a candidate gives publicly. For the most part, the donations pay for commercials that are effectively canceled out by ads another rich person buys for an opponent. "Maybe the donors are suckers," Pelosi said. "If you want to see a candidate, you go to a diner in Iowa or New Hampshire and see them for free."

But don't be naive. Billionaire T. Boone Pickens believes his funding of the Swift Boat commercials against John Kerry in 2004 was a significant factor in Bush's re-election. He also thinks that natural gas legislation he supported failed not because of its merit, but because the deep-pocketed Koch brothers were able to spend more than him to oppose it.

Pelosi also profiles people like Vin Ryan, disgusted by democracy's turn. He's taking the seemingly contradictory stance of only spending money on behalf of candidates who support efforts to reduce the influence of money in politics.

Her concluding point: if there's a way to get some of the money out of politics, perhaps it would bring more voters in.

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Online: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/meet-the-donors-does-money-talk/

Keep track on how much Clinton and Trump are spending on television advertising, and where they're spending it, via AP's interactive ad tracker. http://elections.ap.org/content/ad-spending .

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Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder

Memorial to slain Navy Seal Chris Kyle unveiled in Texas

A memorial for slain Navy Seal and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle has been unveiled in the West Texas city where he was born in 1974.

Ceremonies were held Thursday in Odessa to unveil the granite-and-limestone Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza, which also includes a bronze statue of Kyle. It is a privately funded memorial.

Several trees from ex-President George W. Bush's ranch near Crawford were purchased by memorial organizers and moved to the site earlier this year.

Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were killed in 2013 at a Texas shooting range. A former Marine was convicted in their deaths and sentenced to life in prison.

Kyle's autobiography was the basis for the 2014 film "American Sniper," starring Bradley Cooper.

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Online:

http://odessachamber.com/chris-kyle-memorial/

Reunions make Marvel's 'Black Panther' especially personal

Two reunions make "Black Panther" an especially personal chapter in the Marvel cinematic universe.

The movie, set to begin filming in January, will mark the third time director Ryan Coogler has worked with actor Michael B. Jordan. They teamed up previously on "Creed" and "Fruitvale Station."

They're joined by Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira, the star and writer, respectively, of the Tony-nominated play "Eclipsed," which concluded its run on Broadway last month. Chadwick Boseman stars as T'Challa, also known as Black Panther.

"They've been doing a really good job of keeping this a secret — even from the cast," Jordan said after his role was revealed to fans at Comic-Con over the weekend. "I'm really excited to get back to working with Ryan Coogler."

Jordan plays the villain in the movie, set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

"I'm really, really curious to start diving into a side of my personality that a lot of people don't get a chance to see. It's always cool to show a different side," the 29-year-old actor said.

Coogler, 30, is still polishing the script for the movie, which features the first black superhero in comics, at a time of turmoil in the U.S. over police killings of black men.

"I feel fortunate and excited to be making a film like this. No time better than now," he said.

Though best known for her role in "The Walking Dead," Gurira's "Eclipsed," about five women caught in Liberia's civil war, garnered six Tony nominations. She grew up in Zimbabwe.

"To see an epic story like this told with the Marvel engine, the Marvel abilities — through the personhood, really, of African people — is really, really thrilling," she said. "It's a dream come true for a little African girl who spends her life watching other folks do those types of stories — and gets to see Africans do that story. I mean, that's pretty amazing."

The Oscar-winning Nyong'o credited "God's good grace" with reuniting her with Gurira, "because I had no say in the matter."

"We did a secret jump up-and-down while we were working on 'Eclipsed,'" she said. "I don't mind carrying on the rest of my life with her."

"Black Panther" is set for release in 2018.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ryanwrd

'Nerve' is a dark thriller for the Pokemon Go generation

The invigorating new thriller "Nerve ," now playing in theaters, goes deep into the psychology of the internet with an addictive game that's so fresh, you wonder whether the filmmakers had a tip that the Pokemon Go craze was on the horizon.

In the film, based on the 2012 Jeanne Ryan novel, Nerve is an app-based game that's all the rage among the kids. You can choose to be a "player" or a "watcher." Players are given dares by anonymous masses of watchers with the promise of cash prizes at the end of each dare, which they have to film themselves doing — not dissimilar to Facebook Live or Periscope.

The dares can be as innocuous as kissing a stranger for five seconds, which is how Emma Roberts' square high school student Vee gets hooked up with Dave Franco's slightly older, slightly untrustworthy Ian. Or the dares can be as dangerous as dead-hanging off a high-rise.

"Nerve" is directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the men who brought the world "Catfish," that is-it-real, is-it-fake cultural phenomenon/documentary from 2010 about lying on the internet that birthed the popular television show. They were excited to jump back into the current state of the internet. A lot has changed in six years, and "Nerve" almost makes "Catfish" look quaint.

"There have been a lot of movies that are fantasy or dystopian that take place in this world that you have to imagine. And we look around and we're kind of already living in a sci-fi movie with the technology that exists today and a lot of really simple things we take for granted," Joost said. "We've gone so far beyond '1984' that it feels like we had to tell a story about that."

They collaborated with everyone from teens to a former hacker for the CIA to develop technology that would look and feel believable "five minutes in the future," and also something that wouldn't look as though it required startup money.

The scariest part of "Nerve" is that the game is user generated and promulgated. There is no center to attack once things start getting out of hand. This was a change from the novel, which has a shadowy evil genius controlling everything.

"We realized what was actually more insidious and scarier and much harder to control and confront is if we're the bad guys," screenwriter Jessica Sharzer said. "It's more truthful to the way the internet works."

Beyond the drug-like thrills of the escalating dares, the film feels part "Risky Business" and part "After Hours," as Vee and Ian team up to try to win the game — which is also incidentally a popularity contest. Those with the most watchers get to advance. But the stakes keep going up as more and more dares are completed.

"Just wait. Neither of us think it's necessarily a good idea for the game to exist, but it might be inevitable," Schulman said.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Review: 'Bad Moms' flirts with anarchy, comes up short

that insidious idea that exists only in commercials and glossy magazines — is a worthy and fresh subject for a fun summer comedy, "Bad Moms" is ultimately rather conventional.

Set in an upper middle class Chicago suburb, "Bad Moms" centers on Amy (Mila Kunis), a perpetually stressed and overworked 32-year-old with a part time job and two super busy pre-teens. Lest you think Kunis is a little too young to have pre-teens, the first line in the movie has her explaining that she got pregnant at 20. The movie is on the defense before it even gets going.

Amy spends her days shuttling her kids (Oona Laurence and Emjay Anthony) from school to soccer practice to Russian lessons. She puts up with grief from her incompetent 20-something boss (Clark Duke), her loser husband Mike (David Walton) and the mean moms of the PTA (Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo). She does her son's school projects for him and apologizes profusely to her ungrateful family for being late with the beautiful homemade roast chicken she's made for dinner while her husband sits around like a dope. And she does all of this while still maintaining perfect hair, makeup and clothes.

Her breaking point comes when she realizes her spouse is not only a lazy dope, but also cheating on her with a woman from the internet. This is revealed in an unfunny bit that goes on far too long. But, after kicking him out, Amy decides to just start saying no to things — to four-hour PTA meetings, to insane dietary restrictions at the bake sale, and to working full time when her boss only pays her for three days a week.

She teams up with some similarly disgruntled mothers, including stay-at-home-mom Kiki (Kristen Bell) and single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn). The actresses help elevate these characters above the stereotypes — especially Bell, who brings a lot of empathy and humor to what could have easily been a train wreck of a part.

The film does have its moments. It's kind of delightful when Amy plops down at the bake sale with a half-eaten container of doughnut holes. But for the most part, Amy's rebellion involves partying, shopping, daytime movies and cruise rides in her husband's fancy convertible. It feels a little bit like a frat bro's fantasy of "Mom's day off."

Perhaps that's because this film is from writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore — the screenwriters behind "The Hangover" and the party movie "21 & Over." It makes me wish they had called on Mumulo, who co-wrote "Bridesmaids," for an assist.

The saving grace is in the oddball friendship between Amy, Kiki and Carla. But everything goes off the rails in the third act. Amy's big moment centers around her trying to get elected head of the PTA over Applegate's character so that her daughter isn't unjustly benched on the soccer team. It contradicts her original point that they work too hard for their kids.

"Bad Moms" had so many opportunities to be great, edgy and insightful, but instead settles for the most milquetoast commentary possible on modern motherhood.

"Bad Moms," an STX Entertainment Release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "sexual material, full frontal nudity, language throughout, and drug and alcohol content." Running time: 101 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.

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MPAA Definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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