One of the biggest moviegoing weekends of the year turned into yet another victory parade for the folks at Pixar, as the new animated prequel "Monsters University" brought in an estimated $82 million in its debut to win the box office crown.
Not that it was easy, as brad Pitt and "World War Z" put up a bigger fight than expected: The much debated zombie thriller, which had been expected to top out around $50 million, instead brought in $66 million for a strong second place debut.
Add in another nice haul for returning champion "Man of Steel" — which slipped to third place despite earning an additional $41.2 million — and you have a weekend that was up 52% compared to the same frame last year thanks to a very strong lineup of new releases.
In fact, the main problem facing movies this summer may be the unusually tough competition, as movies have been opening huge only to be pushed aside by the next big thing. "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Fast & Furious 6," for example, both debuted to massive initial numbers, but while their respective totals of $216.7 million and $228.4 million certainly qualify them as solid hits, neither appears likely now to approach mega-blockbuster status. Only "Iron Man 3" has really broken out of the pack, topping the $400 million mark domestically last week.
That trend could mean that the party is short lived for all three of this weekend's top performers, as the next ten days will see the debut of several major releases including "Despicable Me 2," "The Lone Ranger," "White House Down" and "The Heat." So while the summer is sizzling at the box office, the heat is being spread around.
Enjoy your time at the top, Pixar. It might be shorter than usual this time around.
Here's a look at the box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Monsters University" - $82m (our review)
2. "World War Z" - $66m (our review)
3. "Man of Steel" - $41.2m (our review)
4. "This Is The End" - $13m (our review)
5. "Now You See Me" - $7.9m (our review)
6. "Fast & Furious 6" - $4.7m (our review)
7. "The Internship" - $3.4m (our review)
8. "The Purge" - $3.4m (our review)
9. "Star Trek Into Darkness" - $3m (our review)
10. "Iron Man 3" - $2.2m (our review)