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Box Office Top 10: 'Monsters U' and 'The Heat' Beat Male Action Titles, $100-Million 'Now You See Me' Summer Sleeper

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
June 30, 2013 1:15 PM
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"World War Z"
3. World War Z (Paramount) Week 2 - Last weekend: #2

$29,800,000 (-55%) in 3,607 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $8,262; Cumulative: $123,722,000

A fairly steep second weekend drop for this $200 million+ budget film, with the intense action competition clearly one factor after its surprisingly strong opening last week. Still, it came out on top among similar films, which has to make Paramount happy.

What comes next: This looks headed to around $200 million domestically, making the international performance for this -- most of which is still ahead -- crucial to giving this a chance to break even.

4. White House Down (Sony) NEW - Cinemascore: A-; Criticwire grade: B-; Metacritic score: 52

$25,700,000 in 3,222 theaters; PSA: $7,976; Cumulative: $25,7000,000

A disappointing number both compared to similar films and to its cost (reported at $150 million), the bright sign for Sony is upbeat audience reaction (per its A- Cinemascore), far better than the studio's earlier disappointment "After Earth."

The picture looks grimmer when looking at past performance of similar openings. The most significant one is FilmDistrict's recent "Olympus Has Fallen," with a similar setting/plot, which had a surprising $30 million opening weekend earlier this year. That film's playoff likely is the single biggest factor in this weaker than hoped for start for this.

But significantly, this comes below the initial grosses for its main participants. Channing Tatum has been on fire recently -- he's had four films open to at least $36 million and gross more than $100 million in the last two years. Jamie Foxx' four most recent live-action films scored $28 million or better initially. And director Roland Emmerich, for whom this a return to action spectacles (best exemplified by "Independence Day"). this is his lowest opening for a wide release since "The Patriot" in 2000.

Sony's "original" script came from writer James Vanderbilt, whose other screenplays include "Zodiac" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."

The weekend was expected to be a close battle between this and "The Heat" for the top film. But unlike that comedy, this film had to fight off not only the familiarity problem of the earlier "Olympus," but also several other strong action films. That clearly took its toll.

What comes next: The word of mouth is going to have to kick in quickly for this to have a chance of reaching even $100 million domestically (which would be a better than average four time multiple of the opening weekend) -- and that would mean international, still to come, would have to overperform mightily to push this into profit. But look for Sony to be strongly supportive still and give this every chance to hang in.

5. Man of Steel (Warner Bros.) Week 3 - Last weekend: #3

$20,820,000 (-50%) in 4,131 theaters (-76); PSA: $5,040; Cumulative: $248,660,000

A much smaller percentage drop in its third week, more in line with normal front-ended tentpole performance than last week as this becomes (for the time being at least) the second highest-grossing film of 2013. Still, fifth place, and ranking third among the action-oriented films, is not where Legendary Productions and Warner Bros. expected this to be at this point.

What comes next: The competition doesn't let up, but the film looks now to get to around $315 million domestic and at least that much worldwide.

6. This Is the End (Sony) Week 3 - Last weekend: #4

$8,700,000 (-34%) in 2,710 theaters (-345); PSA: $3,210; Cumulative: $74,681,000

Continuing to be a bright spot for Sony, this all-star younger comedy actor hit had another small drop, and looks to sustain itself in the top 10 for a few more weeks and an easy $100 million total.

What comes next: International comes later, but this should be close to profit already by that point.

7. Now You See Me (Lionsgate) Week 5 - Last weekend: #5

$5,500,000 (-30%) in 2,564 theaters (-259); PSA: $2,145; Cumulative: $104,681,000

Another strong hold for this magician caper sleeper that continues to thrive, now passing the $100 million mark domestically (which among other things is ahead of what the Jesse Eisenberg-starring "The Social Network" achieved).

What comes next: This was not an inexpensive film ($75 million budget), so the nearly $50 million this has taken in overseas, with many significant territories still to open, is a welcome sign for Lionsgates.

8. Fast & Furious 6 (Universal) Week 6 - Last weekend: #6

$2,400,000 (-51%) in 1,550 theaters (-876); PSA: $1,555 ; Cumulative: $233,300,000

Finally coming down to earth after a great run (which worldwide is now at $682 million), with a result some other even more expensive summer action films look at with envy.

What comes next: This series should be able to sustain itself for several more episodes.

9. Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) Week 7 - Last weekend: #9

$2,040,000 (-36%) in 1.035 theaters (-530); PSA: $1,971; Cumulative: $220,501,000

Two things are encouraging at this point -- word of mouth seems to be keeping the PSA consistent as the theater count continues its drop, and more importantly, unlike previous "Trek" entries, this will have an international total better than domestic, which is a major improvement.

What comes next: With the worldwide total better, the franchise looks set to continue, although its high budget suggests some fresh elements could help next time around.

10. The Internship (20th Century-Fox) Week 4 - Last weekend: #8

$1,425,000 (-58%) in 1,008 theaters (-908); PSA: $1,414; Cumulative: $41,705,000

Just barely edging out "Iron Man 3" for 10th place, which is a minor victory for a film that has had a disappointing performance.

What comes next: By contrast, Fox' female-centered comedy grossed in its first three days almost as much as this has through 24.

 

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