Weekend Box Office: The Minions Win Again

Even with monstrous effort, the weekend’s two wide releases were unable to stop Gru and his Minions’, as ‘Despicable Me 2’ deposited another $44.7 million in the bank, bringing its domestic 12-day total up to $229.2 million. Overseas, the 3D animated flick has reeled in $243.2 million, giving it an impressive worldwide total of $472.4 million. That’s just $2 million shy of what Pixar’s ‘Monsters University’ has earned over four weekends.

Of the new movies, sadly, the winner was Adam Sandler’s ‘Grown Ups 2‘, which opened $2 million higher than 2010’s ‘Grown Ups‘. The comedy’s $42.5 million debut must boost Sandler’s self-esteem after both ‘Jack and Jill‘ and ‘That’s My Boy‘ flopped. With an $80 million budget, I’m left wondering where the money went, because it surely wasn’t spent on writers. Only time will tell if ‘Grown Ups 2’ can continue to stay ahead of the original movie by passing its worldwide $271.4 million gross.

Unfortunately, the nation didn’t heed the collective advice of film critics. ‘Grown Ups 2’ (which holds a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) beat out Guillermo del Toro’s 3D behemoth ‘Pacific Rim‘ (currently rated 72%). Not the critics, the inflated cost of 3D and IMAX showings, nor positive word of mouth could save the $190 million robot-on-monster action flick. Predicted to debut to $46 million, the movie only earned $38.3 million. After a strong Thursday night opening, predictions put it on the same scale as ‘World War Z’, which is now obviously not the case. It appears that del Toro’s loyal fan base raced out during the first day, but the film dropped drastically on days two and three. But while ‘Pacific Rim’ is looking to become the next big domestic flop of the summer (this marks four failed tentpoles in 2013), it performed quite well overseas, where it debuted to great numbers from South Korea, Russia and Mexico, but soft in Australia and the UK. Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution announced that the studio hopes to give the movie long legs by emphasizing high critics’ ratings and the film’s “A-” Cinemascore in the ad campaign.

The #4 spot was filled by three-week-old ‘The Heat‘, which earned another $14 million and crossed the domestic $100 million mark. Fifth place went to ‘The Lone Ranger‘. No crazy white spirit horse can bring the Ranger back from the dead this time. Its 61% drop-off gave the Disney flop an $11.1 million second weekend, for a 12-day domestic total of only $71.1 million. That’s not too good for a movie that cost $250 to make. The two-and-a-half-hour Western is also tanking overseas. To date, it has only earned $48 million from international markets, bumping its worldwide total to a tragic $119.1 million. Estimates now place Disney’s loss between $150 and $200 million.

The 60-screen expansion of Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Way, Way Back‘ showed a great boost in attendance, but still not enough to crack the Top 10. On 79 screens, the coming-of-age dramedy pulled in $1.1 million. Perhaps Searchlight’s further expansion this coming weekend will boost it up into the Top 10.

Also making some very loud noise in the indie channels was the Weinstein Company’s ‘Fruitvale Station‘. On just seven screens, the Sundance drama earned $377,000 and warranted a fantastic per-screen average of $53,857. Not only is there talk of a much bigger expansion, but possible Oscar buzz.

Robert De Niro and John Travolta’s ‘Killing Season‘ didn’t open too well. On 12 screens, the old-veterans-at-war action flick only brought in $25,600, for a per-screen average of just $2,133. Michael Cera’s little IFC comedy, however, performed very well. On just two screens, ‘Crystal Fairy‘ earned $24,000 and a per-screen average of $12,000.

Number have yet to be released for ‘V/H/S/2‘.

Top 10:

1. ‘Despicable Me 2’ (Universal) – $44,754,000

2. ‘Grown Ups 2’ (Sony) – $42,500,000

3. ‘Pacific Rim’ (Warner Bros.) – $38,300,000

4. ‘The Heat’ (Fox) – $14,000,000

5. ‘The Lone Ranger’ (Buena Vista) – $11,140,000

6. ‘Monsters University’ (Buena Vista) – $10,621,000

7. ‘World War Z’ (Paramount) – $9,430,000

8. ‘White House Down’ (Sony) – $6,150,000

9. ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’ (Lionsgate/Summit) – $5,000,000

10. ‘Man of Steel’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,825,000

1 comment

  1. Barsoom Bob

    I weep that people were willing to give Adam Sandler so much business and deprive Pacific Rim of another 10 or 20 million box office.

    Pacific Rim was astounding to look at and was a very fun ride. If you ever enjoyed a Japanese giant monster movie this movie will put a big fat grin on your face. Del Toro made it all seem pretty real and ferocious, not “man in suit” cheap.

    Unfortunately, the story was Independence Day level, not something a little smarter. The comic relief scientists were for the kids and I could have done with out that. But it wasn’t depressing or angsty either, which is a plus.

    It is a shame that more people couldn’t turn out to support and enjoy something somewhat original, that is lovingly and meticulously crafted, but will spend 40 million on tired, lame, piss and fart jokes.

    My summer movie rankings so far:
    Gatsby
    WWZ
    Pacific Rim
    Iron Man 3
    Man of Steel.

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