Just like last week, that loud sigh relief you’re hearing this time is coming from Paramount executives, who, like Warner Bros execs last week with Man of Steel, were biting their nails over how their $200 million bet known as World War Z would pay off this weekend.
Well, they can sleep a little easier now that the film came in second, with the biggest opening ever for a Brad Pitt movie. Though to be honest, a large part of the success of the film this weekend was due to the fact that Man of Steel dropped huge this weekend by some 71%. Don't cry for MOS however, since it grossed over $40 million this weekend, and has made over $346 million worldwide to date. It obviously has a lot of mileage left in it.
And the outcome for WWZ was shaky at best because of the film’s mixed reviews and the film’s painful production history, which was well-chronicled in the media. The film went into production with a shooting script that no one liked and all agreed had major problems, especially with the third act.
Then there was the massive out of control spending and headache-inducing production problems with director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace), who was clearly way out of his depth during the film’s Malta location shooting (where WWZ’s Jerusalem sequences were shot).
And even worse, the entire original last third of the film, which involved a battle royale in Moscow between humans led by Pitt (who has become a sort of zombie killing warrior king) and the zombies, was entirely scrapped (though brief glimpses of it are seen in the film’s final montage sequence). The production was shut down for months until a new third act was written by new writers and shot, which resulted in ballooning the already ballooning budget for the film.
It’s a miracle how films today even get made with all this going on.
But how well will WWZ fare in the upcoming weeks? Will it hold steady or drop big like Man of Steel? And as I mentioned in my box office report last Sunday, how much longer can studios afford to risk their existence to spend gargantuan amounts of money on films? As Steven Spielberg said, it only takes a few big flops in row and the whole house of cards will come tumbling down around them.
Meanwhile, as expected, Disney and Pixar’s Monsters University was No. 1 with $82 million. This Is the End is holding up well, and Now You See Me is becoming a genuine summer sleeper that is soon to hit the $100 million mark.
1) Monsters University BV $82,000,000
2) World War Z Par. $66,000,000
3) Man of Steel WB $41,215,000 Total: $210,006,000
4) This is the End Sony $13,000,000 Total: $57,792,000
5) Now You See Me LG/S $7,870,000 Total: $94,451,000
6) Fast & Furious 6 Uni. $4,725,000 Total: $228,413,000
7) The Internship Fox $3,425,000 Total: $38,365,000
8) The Purge Uni. $3,412,000 Total: $59,428,000
9) Star Trek Into Darkness Par. $3,000,000 Total: $216,611,000
10) Iron Man 3 BV $2,175,000 Total: $403,120,000
11) The Bling Ring A24 $2,000,000 Total: $2,341,000
12) Epic Fox $1,730,000 Total: $100,985,000