As predicted “Monsters University” topped the box office for a second consecutive weekend ahead of the $40 million debut of “The Heat.” But what was not expected was the resilience of the undead from “World War Z.” Brad Pitt’s zombie epic did enough business to come out ahead of newcomer “White House Down,” which performed below expectations.
Pixar’s first ever prequel raked in another $46.2 million for a 10-day total of $171 million, which put it on course to outgross the $251 million “Monsters Inc.” made in 2001. The second-week decline of “Monsters University” was much narrower than “Toy Story 3,” “Brave” and the critically drubbed “Cars 2.” Billy Crystal and John Goodman’s “Revenge of the Nerds”-style college cartoon will face some heavy competition from Steve Carrell’s “Despicable Me 2,” which has already made more than $50 million in a handful of overseas markets. “Despicable Me 2″ has enjoyed slightly better reviews than “Monsters” as well.
The audience for “The Heat” was 65 percent female, which shows what a smart decision it was for 20th Century Fox to release the movie in a summer of testosterone-heavy tales like “Man of Steel,” “Fast & Furious 6,” “Iron Man 3″ and the like. The $40 million opening marked the biggest weekend for both Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. Buddy cop comedy “The Heat” was directed by Paul Feig, who made “Bridesmaids,” the movie that turned McCarthy into a household name.
After a troubled production, multiple rewrites and several reshoots, “World War Z” looked to be doomed as its production budget soared past $190 million. But the $29.8 million second weekend haul of “World War Z” gives it a $123.7 million two-week domestic total (plus an additional $135 million overseas), validating Brad Pitt’s decision to option the book as a producer and to star in the film. The normally franchise adverse star is reportedly gearing up for not one but two sequels.
Just three months after the release of “Olympus Has Fallen” (now just shy of $100 million in North America), “White House Down” debuted with a very similar “Die Hard in the White House”-type premise. Even with the star power of Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, the latest movie from the director of “Independence Day” made just $25.7 million. While that would be a strong number for a lot of films, Sony Pictures Entertainment has to be disappointed given the film’s $150 million price tag. Coming almost right on the heels of another big-budget flop, Will Smith’s “After Earth,” Sony could have used a big hit.
Luckily for the studio, they bet on the wacky premise of “This is the End” and that bet has paid off. The apocalyptic movie co-written and co-directed by Seth Rogen, in which he and a bunch of his buddies (including James Franco, Danny McBridge, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson) play themselves, has made $74.6 million domestically in four weeks against a reported production budget of just $32 million.
Each of the top five films all generated more than $20 million, wrapping up a very strong June, as “Man of Steel” cruised to $248.7 million domestically at #5 with an additional $20.8 million. The Superman reboot is ahead of “Fast & Furious 6″ and “Star Trek Into Darkness”; Marvel’s “Iron Man 3″ is the only 2013 movie to beat “Man of Steel” thus far, with $405.4 million. By most industry estimates, the $250 million “Man of Steel” has a shot at making $300 million domestically.
“Now You See Me” crossed the $100 million mark over the weekend, with the magician-themed crime movie sticking in the top 10 just after “This is the End.” The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by “Fast & Furious 6,” “Star Trek” and “The Internship.”
This weekend, in addition to “Despicable Me 2,” Disney will unleash their big-screen adaptation of “The Lone Ranger.” Depp recently spoke with MTV News about the makeup process that transformed him into Tonto, the Ranger’s partner. As reviews have begun to trickle in, the movie carried a “rotten” 33 percent critical average on Rotten Tomatoes.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Monsters University.”