‘MU’ Schools ‘WWZ’ at Monsters Vs. Zombies Showdown

Prequel Extends Pixar Streak; 'World War Z' Debut is 2nd-Best 2nd-Place Opening Ever

June 24, 2013 by

Last weekend’s record-setting reigning champ, Superman reboot Man of Steel, had no chance repeating at an historic domestic box office this weekend, which featured a pair of openers that pit monsters versus zombies. Both new movies had remarkable debuts, but Pixar prequel Monsters University came out on top with an estimated total of $82 million, the second biggest opening for the acclaimed animation studio (trailing only Toy Story 3‘s $110 million). MU‘s monster debut was lucky number 14 for Pixar and kept its perfect streak of commercial success alive; each and every one of Pixar’s 14 feature films has now opened at the top of the box office.

The runner-up spot belonged to one of our most anticipated movies of the year, zombie thriller World War Z. Despite a lengthy and troubled production, the adaptation’s estimated first take of $66 million easily beat Mr. and Mrs. Smith‘s $50.3 million to become the highest opening weekend gross for WWZ star/producer Brad Pitt. Similar to The Great Gatsby‘s third highest second-place debut last month, World War Z‘s huge estimated initial take of $66 million was the second highest second-place opening of all time, just behind The Day After Tomorrow‘s $69 million when it narrowly lost to Shrek 2‘s $72 million in 2004.

Man of Steel dropped to the final podium slot in its second weekend as Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s superhero origins story has already crossed the $200 million mark domestically. Seth Rogan’s apocalypse comedy This is The End took fourth place as it crossed the $50 million mark, and rounding out the top five was caper flick Now You See Me, the summer surprise that will pass the $100 million mark within a week. Other movies that reached milestones included mega-blockbuster Iron Man 3 ($400 million) and animated adventure Epic ($100 million). Together, the robust domestic box office total of $236 million landed on the list of top ten of all time, joining last month’s Memorial Day weekend.

Next weekend introduces two more wide releases: Olympus Has Fallen clone White House Down and chick cop couple comedy The Heat (from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig).

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

  1. Monsters University — Weekend Gross: $82 million — Total Gross: $82 million (new)
  2. World War Z — Weekend Gross: $66 million — Total Gross: $66 million (new)
  3. Man of Steel — Weekend Gross: $41 million — Total Gross: $210 million (#1 last week)
  4. This is The End — Weekend Gross: $13 million — Total Gross: $58 million (#2 last week)
  5. Now You See Me — Weekend Gross: $8 million — Total Gross: $94 million (#3 last week)

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