Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

'Monsters University' and 'The Heat' Battle for Top Spot at Lagging Summer Box Office

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood June 29, 2013 at 2:28PM

The release calendar is crowded, and Friday's numbers show that the intense competition for the top films is not expanding the marketplace. The end result is not the box office bonanza many have been predicting. In fact, the total numbers for the top 10 yesterday fell just under 20% from the same Friday last year. This means that a blockbuster summer is less likely than ever to salvage a weak year. And this is at a time when multiple releases are burdened with unforgiving production budgets exceeding $150 million--and more.
3
White House Down

The release calendar is crowded, and Friday's numbers show that the intense competition for the top films is not expanding the marketplace. The end result is not the box office bonanza many have been predicting. In fact, the total numbers for the top 10 yesterday fell just under 20% from the same Friday last year. This means that a blockbuster summer is less likely than ever to salvage a weak year. And this is at a time when multiple releases are burdened with unforgiving production budgets exceeding $150 million--and more.

The top two films for the day have the advantage of having discrete audiences. "Monsters University" (Buena Vista) took in $14.3 million to retain the #1 spot, keeping the family audience to itself for a second weekend (that changes when challenger "Despicable Me 2" opens on Wednesday). The Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy "The Heat" (Twentieth Century Fox) capitalized on its popular stars and the dearth of female-centric films to gross $13.6 million, very solid and about 20% ahead of the latter's last film, "Identity Thief," which went on to take in $134 million in the U.S./Canada. Still, its opening day is only two-thirds of what "Ted" opened to exactly one year ago, another sign of ongoing box office falloff.

The next three spots show how the intersection of top-end male-oriented action films at the same time is taking its toll. Paramount's "World War Z" looks to come out ahead for the weekend (falling about 50%), but the opening day (including late night Thursday shows) for Sony's "White House Down" placed #3 for the day, with $9 million, just slightly ahead of "WWZ." This is at the low-end for what this $150 million cost film needed, and indeed is below what the same studio's slightly less expensive "After Earth" amassed its opening day. "Down" is the year's second action assault on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the just-under $100 million take for "Olympus Has Fallen" (Film District) in the spring took its toll. It will take strong word of mouth (still possible) to salvage this film.

Warner Bros.' "Man of Steel" continues its rapid decline, coming in #5 in only its third weekend, dropping more than 50% again at $6 million. The front-ended grosses combined with the international take so far have this Christopher Nolan-overseen reboot of the Superman franchise approaching $500 million worldwide, but the domestic part of that won't get much above $300 million, well below expectations.

Number six-ranked "This Is the End" (Sony) and #7 "Now You See Me" (Lionsgate) both fell off under 40% as they continue their successful runs -- the latter now crossing the $100 million mark. Previous #1 openers "Fast & Furious 6" (Universal), "Star Trek Into Darkness" (Paramount) and "Iron Man 3" (Buena Vista) round out the top 10, all of these heading for sub-$3 million weekends.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, White House Down, The Heat, Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Monsters University , Pixar


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.