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'The Wolverine' Disappoints at Healthy Box Office; 'Fruitvale' Lands in Top Ten

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 27, 2013 at 3:05PM

Although Twentieth Century Fox's "The Wolverine," the week's sole wide opener, performed a good deal below predictions, the overall weekend was encouraging as the uneven (and very expensive) summer continues to play out. Grosses for the top 10 came in at around $152 million, a big jump from last year's $124 million (where the #1 film was the second weekend of "The Dark Knight Rises"). Decent-grossing newcomer "The Wolverine" played its part, but the overall strength comes from several films holding well (the #2-6 films dropped between 36 and 48% from last weekend). With several significant August openings ahead, the summer could still end up ahead of last year's, but not likely quite enough to boost the year total.
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Despicable Me Minions

What comes next: This is looking like one of the most profitable films of the year, with most of foreign and a $125 million-plus domestic total ahead.

3. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) Week 4 - Last weekend: #2

$16,024,000  (-36%) in 3,476 theaters (-344); PSA: $4,610; Cumulative: $306,400,000

Still thriving, holding very well, with $400 million domestic a real possibility. At $661 million total worldwide so far, which much more to go, it is nipping at the heels of Universal's "Fast & Furious 6" (which with China's big opening this weekend is now at $741 million total).

What comes next: This could play in the Top 10 for the rest of the summer.

4. Turbo (20th Century-Fox) Week 2 - Last weekend: #3

Fruitvale Station Poster1

$13,325,000 (-37%) in 3,809 theaters (+3); PSA: $3,498; Cumulative: $55,768,000

A decent second weekend hold for this Dreamworks Animation offering, but the reality is it is underperforming. "The Croods," Dreamworks' similarly expensive ($135 million) production, did $26 million in its second weekend (down 38%) last March by comparison. Given indications of better than average audience response to "Turbo," clearly "Despicable Me 2" is doing competitive damage.

What comes next: Foreign is going toneed to be massive to get this to the level that Dreamworks needs.

5. Grown Ups 2 (Sony) Week 3 - Last weekend: #4

$11,500,000 (-42%) in 3,258 theaters (-233); PSA: $3,530; Cumulative: $101,664,000

Less than a 50% drop again, and breaking through $100 million for the critic-proof (at least this time) Adam Sandler and company.

What comes next: This has most of foreign to come, but should near $130 million domestic, making it Sandler's best live-action success since 2006's "Click."

6. Red 2 (Lionsgate) Week 2 - Last weekend: #6

$9,400,000 (-48%) in 3,016 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $3,117; Cumulative: $35,074,000

Holding in sixth place, with a just under 50% fall, this is still soft compared to expectations but at least now has a chance for a couple more weeks play with foreign theaters starting to open. 

What comes next: Lionsgate (where production company Summit is now based) is as good as anyone at nurturing long-term series, but this looks like the end of the road, at least at this expense ($85 million).

7. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) Week 3 - Last weekend: #5

$7,540,000 (-53%) in 2,602 theaters (-683); PSA: $2,898; Cumulative: $84,026,000

Another sizable drop, confirming last weekend's indications that this expensive film just isn't sufficiently clicking with domestic audiences despite some core enthusiasm. Foreign however gets the total over $200 million so far, with Japan and China (both expected to be strong supporters) among other territories still to open.

What comes next: This needs to get to the far side of $400 million in worldwide theatrical to have a chance to break even, which is not out of the question, but a long shot. 

8. The Heat (20th Century-Fox) Week 5 - Last weekend: #8

$6,850,000 (-%) in 2,384 theaters (-305); PSA: $; Cumulative: $141,245,000

Yet another modest drop confirming this female-centered picture as the biggest comedy of the summer (even more than Adam Sandler et al).

What comes next: This still has a shot at equaling "Bridesmaids," which ended up at $169 million. Even if it falls just short, it's a massive success, with most of foreign still to come.

9. R.I.P.D. (Universal) Week 2 - Last weekend: #7

$5,900,000 (-54%) in 2,850 theaters (-2); PSA: $2,055; Cumulative: $24,400,000

Not a total collapse, but severe enough with the weak opening, as this total wipeout is likely to disappear from screens after this weekend.

What comes next: This might not gross much more than half of its $130 million budget, not to mention additional marketing costs.

10. Fruitvale Station (Weinstein) Week 3 - Last weekend: #17

$4,657,000 (+530%) in 1,064 theaters (+1,030); PSA: $4,377; Cumulative: $6,339,000

A decent quick expansion for this acclaimed, very topical African-American drama which is now positioned to move ahead as far as word of mouth takes it. These grosses are a little below where "Midnight in Paris" -- the recent high performer among summer specialized expansions -- did at similar theaters (Woody Allen's film grossed  $5.8 million when it jumped to 944 theaters its fourth week). "Paris," which had an amazing sustained run as it reached deeper than Allen's normal audience, made it eventually to $56 million. 

"Precious," another Sundance champion that initially had a similar audience target (both films have crossover appeal beyond African-Americans) was more of a box office phenomenon -- it grossed almost $11 million in its third weekend in only 629 theaters on its way to ultimately $47 million. But Weinstein, by going wider and including a broad swath of the top theaters across the country, is counting on the strength of this drama to bolster its long term appeal and enhance its solid awards chances down the line. We'll see how successful this fairly wide expansion is (which comes with higher marketing costs), but this strong weekend showing suggests they are on the right path.

What comes next: The hold next weekend will be the strongest indication of what the future holds. But this still looks on course to gross at least $20 million, which would be terrific for this low-budget initially specialized appeal film.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Fruitvale Station, X-Men, Hugh Jackman, The Conjuring


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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.