Moms' Night Out
"Moms' Night Out" opened nationwide on May 9. (YouTube)

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Moms' Night Out, the Sarah Drew/Sean Astin/Patricia Heaton/Trace Adkins team-up, was this week's second-biggest per-screen new release at the box office. For Mother's Day 2014—for maybe first time ever—the hot gift was ... a movie ticket. Starting the Friday before Mother's Day, families filled theaters for Moms' Night Out, a wholesome PG standout in a field of the summer's 15 R-rated comedies, and crowds rose higher on word of mouth. 

Exit polls echo the audience reactions: 82 percent of moviegoers (the average is 60 percent) say, yes, they'd definitely recommend Moms' Night Out. A million-plus people, meanwhile, are talking about it on Facebook. Among females aged 35-49, Moms' Night Out received an A- CinemaScore.

"Hollywood is overdue to make movies on a double bottom line," co-writer and director Jon Erwin says. "While Moms' Night Out entertains entire families, it's proving that content can build up families and come out financially profitable."

Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio host and movie reviewer, echoes the enthusiasm.

"Moms' Night Out is funny, frisky, fast-moving and filled with first-class performances," he says. "It's also a surprisingly wise and moving film about the joys and nightmares of parenthood." 

Tara McNamara of called Moms' Night Out "a movie unicorn—something we hope exists, and yet finding one is very, very rare. Most grown women become moms," she writes, "so how can it be that Moms' Night Out—a comedy about the lives of good moms—is one of a kind?"

Starring Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings), two-time Emmy winner Patricia Heaton (The Middle, Everybody Loves Raymond) and country music superstar Trace Adkins (Lincoln Lawyer), Moms' Night Out received an 86 percent positive response from Rotten Tomatoes moviegoers.

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