June 3, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
After leading the way to historic numbers at the domestic box office over Memorial Day weekend, Fast & Furious 6 remained on track in the fast lane. But the real story here isn’t how the blockbuster action sequel held off two newcomers in its sophomore weekend; it’s how After Earth, one of our most anticipated movies of the year, crashed and burned in its debut, which was even behind that of Now You See Me, a caper film involving magicians.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, After Earth reportedly carried a $130 million budget, but its opening take stateside was only $27.5 million. This isn’t as bad as John Carter ($250 million budget, 51% RT, 51% MC) and Battleship ($209 million budget, 34% RT, 41% MC), two Taylor Kitsch sci-fi vehicles that bombed here last year. However, neither of those two flops were as lowly rated critically as After Earth (12% RT, 32% MC), and neither featured Will Smith, a superstar who was once the king of summer blockbusters. Maybe instead of trying to groom his spawn into what he once was, the former Prince of Bel-Air should be working on something fresh… for himself. Not Men in Black 4!
Now You See Me and its ensemble cast stole the runner-up spot for the highest opening ever for distributor Summit Entertainment if you don’t count any of the Twilight movies, and behind After Earth was a close three-way race for the remaining two slots in the top five, which you can check out below via BOM. Winning that battle was sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness by a hair over animated adventure Epic, which pushed out comedy trilogy finale The Hangover Part III down to sixth place.
Next weekend, two more new releases will try to slow down Fast & Furious 6 and prevent it from becoming the first movie of 2013 to three-peat as the domestic box office champ. The challengers are The Internship, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and The Purge, a sci-fi slasher starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. If the weak trailers for both movies are any indication, it should be another smooth ride at the top for Fast & Furious 6.
Here are the numbers for the top five over the weekend:
- Fast & Furious 6 — Weekend Gross: $35.2 million — Total Gross: $171.0 million (#1 last week)
- Now You See Me — Weekend Gross: $29.3 million — Total Gross: $29.3 million (new)
- After Earth — Weekend Gross: $27.5 million — Total Gross: $27.5 million (new)
- Star Trek Into Darkness — Weekend Gross: $16.8 million — Total Gross: $181.5 million (#3 last week)
- Epic — Weekend Gross: $16.6 million — Total Gross: $65.4 million (#4 last week)