Weekend Box Office: Bombs Bursting in Air

Although it may be rude, a part of me gets excited when a horrible film tanks at the box office. While Disney may not have deserved the catastrophic flop of ‘John Carter’ last year, the studio certainly earned that fate this time.

Before we get to Disney’s failure, let’s discuss this week’s great success. Not including the two-day head start, the actual opening weekend for ‘Despicable Me 2‘ was spot on with that for Pixar’s ‘Monsters University’. Where the opening weekend of ‘Monsters U.’ brought in $82.4 million, ‘Despicable 2’ brought in $82.5 million. Over 10 days, ‘Monsters U.’ earned $170.4 million. After just five days, ‘Despicable 2’ has earned $142 million. Considering that Pixar put more than $200 million into ‘Monsters U.’, ‘Despicable Me 2’ (made for just $76 million) is really killing it. The Hollywood Reporter notes that this five-day total marks the best of any animated film, surpassing even ‘Toy Story 3‘. But the success doesn’t stop there.

‘Despicable Me 2’ is also destroying the competition overseas. This weekend alone, the Minions earned $88.8 million, bringing the film’s international total to $151.1 million and pushing its worldwide total to $293.2 million. Now, let’s get back to Disney’s flop.

With a budget north of $215 million, ‘The Lone Ranger‘ joins ‘After Earth’ and ‘White House Down’ as the third summer tentpole flop of 2013. After five days, the supposedly family-friendly flick (that really isn’t) only grossed $48.9 million. $29.4 million of that was pulled in over the actual weekend. From half as many markets as ‘Despicable Me 2’, ‘The Lone Ranger’ earned $29.4 million overseas, bringing its worldwide opening to a measly $78.3 million.

Only slipping 36% in its second weekend, ‘The Heat‘ fared very well by pulling in another $25 million. Box Office Mojo compares this to last summer’s ‘Ted‘. If the statistics hold up, ‘The Heat’ may have even longer legs and will bow with $160 million.

Monsters University‘ finished its third weekend in the #4 spot. While the $19.5 million weekend made ‘Monsters U.’ the 11th Pixar film to cross $200 million domestically, it isn’t shaping up to be as successful as originally presumed, due to ‘Despicable Me 2’ giving it some stiff competition.

The Top 5 was rounded out by ‘World War Z‘, which added another $18.2 million to its haul. After 17 days, the $190 million zombie flick has earned $158.7 million domestically and $207.4 million internationally. Even after production-delaying rewrites and massive reshoots, Paramount is already moving forward with a sequel.

On 876 screens, Kevin Hart’s second big-screen stand-up concert movie performed very well. Recorded at a 2012 Madison Square Garden show, ‘Let Me Explain‘ debuted to $10.1 million over the three-day weekend and $17.4 million over the five-day holiday. How long do you think it will take for Lionsgate to put out another Kevin Hart film?

Finally, on only 19 screens, Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Way, Way Back‘ debuted in the #13 spot. Its $575,000 opening equates to a per-screen average of 30,263, which is higher than any other film this weekend, even including the $20,645 per-screen average for ‘Despicable Me 2’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Despicable Me 2’ (Universal) – $82,518,000

2. ‘The Lone Ranger’ (Buena Vista) – $29,432,000

3. ‘The Heat’ (Fox) – $25,000,000

4. ‘Monsters University’ (Buena Vista) – $19,590,000

5. ‘World War Z’ (Paramount) – $18,200,000

6. ‘White House Down’ (Sony) – $13,500,000

7. ‘Man of Steel’ (Warner Bros) – $11,415,000

8. ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’ (Lionsgate) – $10,100,000

9. ‘This Is the End’ (Sony) – $5,800,000

10. ‘Now You See Me’ (Summit) – $2,770,000


  1. I’d like to know the total Disney really sunk into LONE RANGER, as that $215 million doesn’t reflect the marketing costs…I bet you they sunk a half a billion into this film – seems like it was the most heavily marketed movie of the summer – Disney was even inserting posters for it into their TV properties.

    • Disney had actually canceled development of Lone Ranger a couple years ago due to a spiraling budget (said to be at least $250 million at that time). The project stalled for a long while, before finally being re-greenlit. I assume that the people who put it back on track will pay dearly for that mistake.

    • hurin

      I had been looking forward to see it, but now I think I’ll wait for the blu ray.

      Firstly it is way too long, and secondly I read the whole movie is actually the imagination of a boy visiting a wild west exhibition (say what).

  2. If you go into The Lone Ranger expecting nothing other than a Gore, Jerry and Johnny movie, you don’t leave disappointed. Seen it twice, and both times have loved it. The only thing that has hurt this movie, is the over expectations and Disney stupidly putting it up against Despicable Me 2.

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