Box Office: Despicable Me 2 Outdistances Grown Ups 2 And Pacific Rim To Repeat As #1


Soft opening be damned, you don’t want to upset Stringer Bell.

The biggest question going into the weekend was whether or not Grown Ups 2 would debut in first place. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and Universal’s Despicable Me 2 took the top spot for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $44.7 million weekend. It took only two weeks for the sequel to the successful 2010 animated release to cross $200M domestic. Combined with overseas totals and DM2 is at $476 million and growing. (The first Despicable Me made $543M overall.) A second week at #1 is sweet, but Dru and the minions have some competition in the form of DreamWorks’ Turbo opening in theaters on Wednesday. Ryan Reynolds as a NOS-charged snail. Hmm, I’m skeptical, but parents won’t care. As long as it keeps the kids entertained for two hours.

Despicable Me 2 may have been victorious, but it was a close race. Grown Ups 2 brought in $42.5M. That total makes it the second best opening for Adam Sandler, behind The Longest Yard‘s $47.6M. GU2 is also $2 million more than what the original Grown Ups made back in 2010. The success of Grown Ups 2 signals an alarming trend. Film writers have savagely criticized the comedy in terms of its content and the general public’s well being as far as movie choices are concerned. The comedy’s opening weekend success is yet another example that shows the people’s perception of cinema has dropped considerably. Yes, there will always be a market for crappy movies, I get that. What makes it worse is that Grown Ups 2 is a bad comedy disguised as family entertainment, despite its PG-13 rating.

I guess it is a minor miracle that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim finished in third place with a soft $38.3 million. The summer movie season has proven to be a time where franchises are born or continued. With a built-in audience Grown Ups 2 was guaranteed to be a success. So for Warner Bros. to distribute something as large-scope as Pacific Rim is a surprise. Here’s a $110M sci-fi monsters and robots tale with an Oscar-nominated director at the helm. On the bright side, Pacific Rim got $53M from foreign territories to put its worldwide total at $91.3 million for the weekend. That was second, behind Despicable Me 2‘s $100.5M. All in all, consider del Toro’s return to the director’s chair as an appetizer to set up the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, where fanboys can deliver neural handshakes to one another in celebration.

Still performing well in its third week, The Heat is proving to be one of the best comedy surprises this summer. But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why. Women. Seriously, if you can make and market a film for women that guys wouldn’t fear having their man card revoked upon having seen, then you’re on to something. The comedy took in $14 million and also crossed the domestic $100 million mark.

Not faring as well was The Lone Ranger. It appears the masked cowboy/vigilante/avenger got bucked off Silver, if he wasn’t already after that first weekend, with the largest percentage decrease (61.9%) in total viewership as it finished with $11.1M. At this point it will be lucky to get to the $100 million mark, let alone make back its enormous budget of $250M. Disney better hope that Johnny Depp still has enough fans overseas to make its money back. If not, the studio will have to be cautious of the Jerry Bruckheimer projects it greenlights in the future (at least until the Star Wars franchise starts to pick up steam). Until then, Mickey Mouse will be leaning on Pixar, Marvel Studios, and maybe the occasional, if unexpected, hit from elsewhere. DreamWorks, perhaps.

Monsters University is still a hit with the kiddos even with Dru and gang dominating the box office. It made $10.6 million in its fourth weekend as it finished in sixth. Brad Pitt battling zombies is still relevant to the top ten conversation as World War Z made $9.4M for the weekend. Burning down rapidly in its third week, White House Down finished a dismal eighth with $6.2 million. Only dropping one spot was Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain with $5 million. The concert film has made an impressive $26 million in its first ten days of release. Finally, rounding out the list, is Man of Steel wavering with $4.8M.

Expect to see the ninth and tenth place finishers gone from the list with the arrival of four new releases in the coming week: Turbo (opens Wednesday), followed by the Friday releases of Red 2, The Conjuring, and R.I.P.D..

In other news, Fox Searchlight’s The Way, Way Back saw a 100.8% increase in attendance as the indie release expanded from 19 theaters to 79. It added $1.1 million to its total over the weekend. But the big winner was The Weinstein Company. It’s comedy Unfinished Song added 20 new theaters and finished with $240k. The Radius-TWC release 20 Feet From Stardom got a small boost in attendance as earned $497k. But the big deal is the limited release of Fruitvale Station. Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut opened in only seven theaters but brought in a whopping $377k ($53,857 per screen). Expect this one to see considerable expansion in the coming weeks as writers and bloggers are sure to reference it when discussing the recent outcome of the George Zimmerman case.

Weekend Box-Office Top Ten for July 12 – July 14, 2013

1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal Pictures) – $44.7 MILLION ($226m cume.)

2. Grown Ups 2 (Columbia Pictures) – $42.5 MILLION

3. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) – $38.3 MILLION

4. The Heat (20th Century Fox) – $14 MILLION ($112m cume)

5. The Lone Ranger (Walt Disney Pictures) – $11.1 MILLION ($77.1m cume)

6. Monsters University (Walt Disney Pictures) – $10.6 MILLION ($237.7m cume)

7. World War Z (Paramount Pictures) – $9.4 MILLION ($177.0m cume)

8. White House Down (Columbia Pictures) – $6.1 MILLION ($62.9m cume)

9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (Summit Entertainment) – $5 MILLION ($26.3m cume)

10. Man of Steel (Warner Bros.) – $4.8 MILLION ($280.9m cume)

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