It’s been a great June at the domestic box office – and thanks to a jam-packed slate of robust earners, the month finished strong this weekend. In fact, the top five films all earned over $20 million.
Monsters University stayed on top of the chart with $46.2 million, marking a slim 44 percent drop over the Friday-to-Sunday period, which was lower than the second weekend declines of Brave (49 percent), Cars 2 (60 percent), and Toy Story 3 (46 percent). The well-received family film has earned $171.3 million total after ten days — and it will definitely surpass the original Monsters Inc.’s $251 million cume. The film will face a formidable challenge next week, though, when Despicable Me 2, which has been cleaning up overseas (it’s already earned over $50 million from just seven countries), hits theaters on July 3.
In second place, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s buddy-cop comedy The Heat scored an excellent $40 million – a career-best debut for both stars. The film, directed by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig, cost Fox only $43 million to make – and it will surpass that figure by Tuesday. The Heat’s great debut trumps the opening weekend of McCarthy’s other 2013 hit, Identity Thief, which began its run with $36.3 million on the way to a $134.5 million finish.
As might be expected, adult women drove business for The Heat, which carries an R-rating. According to Fox, audiences were 65 percent female and 67 percent above the age of 25. Crowds issued the film an “A-” CinemaScore grade.
World War Z dipped 55 percent into third place with $29.8 million in its second weekend. The Brad Pitt zombie thriller, which Paramount says cost $190 million (though reports place its budget in the $200-250 million range), has now earned $123.7 million after ten days. Such a strong gross seemed nigh-impossible a few months ago due to the film’s awful press during production, but its a testament to Paramount’s marketing team that World War Z has been as successful as it has. (That being said, it has a long, long way to go before it’s out of the red).
In fourth, White House Down got off to an awful start. Sony’s $150 million Roland Emmerich-directed film, which stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, only earned $25.7 million in its opening weekend (which includes Thursday showtimes beginning at 7 p.m.). That’s lower than Olympus Has Fallen’s $30.4 million start in March (that film cost just $70 million), and it’s likely that Olympus’ remarkably similar White-House-taken-over-by-terrorists plot hurt White House Down’s chances. The action comedy seems unlikely to join Tatum’s recent line-up of $100 million hits including Magic Mike, The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation – though its “A-” CinemaScore may help it achieve some legs at the box office.
Notably, White House Down played to more women than men this weekend. According to Sony, audiences were 51 percent female – the same majority as World War Z last weekend. The idea that action films are primarily driven by male business is quickly evaporating at the box office.
Man of Steel, rounded out the Top 5, falling 50 percent to $20.8 million in its third weekend. The $225 million Superman film stabilized nicely from its alarming 72 percent Friday-to-Friday drop last weekend, and it has now earned $248.7 million domestically and seems on pace to finish with about $300 million total.
1. Monsters University – $46.2 million
2. The Heat – $40.0 million
3. World War Z – $29.8 million
4. White House Down – $25.7 million
5. Man of Steel – $20.8 million
In milestone news, Summit’s $75 million magician caper Now You See Me passed the $100 million mark in its fifth weekend thanks to a $5.5 million frame. Few expected the film, which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Mark Ruffalo, to be a hit, but after a surprsingly strong $29.4 million debut, it’s become a word-of-mouth favorite and notched tiny drops (like this week’s 30 percent dip) every weekend. With $104.7 million so far, Now You See Me may finish in the $115 million range – a magical result for Summit.
Check back next weekend for the full box office coverage of The Lone Ranger and Despicable Me 2, and follow me on Twitter for more box office conversation and up-to-the-minute updates.