‘MU’, ‘Heat’, ‘WWZ’ Down ‘White House’

Box Office: PG-13 Big-Budget Action Film Can't Even Match R-Rated 'Olympus Has Fallen'

June 30, 2013 by

Monsters University, Pixar’s latest streak-extending blockbuster, held onto the top spot at the domestic box office for the repeat win, but the bigger story coming out of the weekend was that chick cop couple comedy The Heat (in its debut) and zombie apocalypse thriller World War Z (in its second weekend) both beat down big-budgeted action flick White House Down, one of the honorable mentions on our list of most anticipated movies of the year.

Directed by master of disaster Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) and starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, White House Down‘s fourth-place opening at an estimated $25.7 million couldn’t even match Olympus Has Fallen‘s second-place $30.4 million debut in late March, even though White House Down had a money-friendly PG-13 rating versus Olympus Has Fallen‘s R rating. Will this be a lesson to Hollywood and its annual rite of serving audiences copycats? Or will the crowded slate of summer action movies be blamed?

Maybe Sony, which has already absorbed a big commercial flop just last month when After Earth crashed under Fast & Furious 6 and sleeper surprise Now You See Me, can point fingers at The Heat. Directed by Paul Feig and pairing Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy, The Heat is the summer’s only movie featuring female leads. Its estimated first take of $40 million threatened Monsters University‘s sophomore haul of $46 million and is the highest opening ever for Feig, Bullock, and McCarthy, beating Bridesmaids, The Blind Side, and Identity Thief, respectively.

The final podium spot went to Brad Pitt’s World War Z, which tallied another $30 million over its second weekend to bring its domestic cume to nearly $125 million. Raising its domestic total to twice that at $250 million was Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, which added over $20 million during its third weekend and rounded out the top five.

This July 4th extended holiday weekend, traditionally the biggest box office weekend of the year stateside, introduces animated 3D sequel Despicable Me 2, which will likely help prevent animated 3D prequel Monsters University from becoming the first 2013 movie to three-peat at the domestic box office, and another Disney tentpole, The Lone Ranger, which features the re-teaming of Johnny Depp and the original Pirates of the Caribbean director, Gore Verbinski.

Here are the estimates for the top five over the weekend via BOM:

  1. Monsters University — Weekend Gross: $46.2 million — Total Gross: $171 million (#1 last week)
  2. The Heat — Weekend Gross: $40 million — Total Gross: $40 million (new)
  3. World War Z — Weekend Gross: $29.8 million — Total Gross: $123.7 million (#2 last week)
  4. White House Down — Weekend Gross: $25.7 million — Total Gross: $25.7 million (new)
  5. Man of Steel — Weekend Gross: $20.8 million — Total Gross: $248.7 million (#3 last week)

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