Weekend Box Office (June 21 - 23, 2013)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND With two new monster hits combining to take in nearly $150M alone, the North American box office exploded this weekend with the top 10 grossing $228M becoming the second highest grossing weekend of the year and one of the top grossing weekends of all time.

Leading the way in the now traditional mid-June slot was the Disney/Pixar prequel Monsters University which grossed $82.4M this weekend, according to final studio figures, becoming the second highest opening for all Pixar films behind only 2010's Toy Story 3 which opened to $110M. Pixar films for the most part have opened in the $60-70M range as 8 of their now 14 releases have hit that mark. All 14 films by the way have opened #1 during their first weekend of wide release. Monsters University tapped into the love for the Monsters characters which were launched way back in 2001 with Monsters Inc. which opened to $62.6M on its way to a lifetime total of $255.8M. Monsters Inc. was only the 4th Pixar release so not only did Monsters University use the nostalgia pop for their own characters, they were able to use over a decade of goodwill for the Pixar brand itself. Monsters U. also opened in 35 territories internationally and took in an additional $54.5M for a worldwide total of $137M so far. And with an 'A' CinemaScore from viewers, look for the family film to eat up box office receipts the rest of the summer.

Second place belonged to a different kind of monster as Paramount unleased the zombie flick World War Z to impressive results. The Brad Pitt starrer took in $66.4M this weekend, crushing industry expectations. Bad buzz had circled the film for months after word got out the entire third act was being re-filmed, but audiences didn't care as they gave the film a solid 'B+' CinemaScore grade and obviously came out in droves to get a taste of Pitt and the zombies. Z now becomes Pitt's highest opening weekend soundly defeating 2005's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (co-starring Angelina Jolie) which opened to $50.3M on its way to $186.3M, currently Pitt's highest grossing film overall. Internationally World War Z has amassed $46M for a worldwide total to date of $112M with many territories still to open.

Third place belonged to Man of Steel which fell an understandable 65% from its record-breaking opening last weekend to $41.3M bringing its cume to $210.1M, or, $10M more than Superman Returns made in its entire run. While Man of Steel fell a little bit harder than anticipated considering the largely positive reviews and obvious audience response, it still has a good chance of hitting the $300M mark. In fourth place was the R-rated comedy This is the End which fell a slim 36% to $13.3M bringing its cume to $58.1M, with the $100M milestone still within range.

In fifth place was arguably the surprise hit of the summer, Now You See Me, which took in $7.9M this weekend for a total gross of $94.5M, within ear shot of the $100M club. Remarkable for a film that had almost zero buzz coming into the summer season. Sixth place belonged to a film everyone had heard of, Fast & Furious 6 which took an another $4.9M bringing its cume to $228.6M.

Comedy flop The Internship landed in eighth this weekend with $3.4M, bringing its total to a disappointing $38.3M. It'll be lucky to even hit its production budget of $58M by the end of its run. On the opposite end of the spectrum was another surprise hit, the horror-thriller The Purge which took in $3.6M this weekend bringing its total to an impressive $59.6M, off of a budget of only $3M. While star power certainly helps some films, this summer people are also lining up for concepts they like.

Rounding out the top 10 were two expected smashes in Star Trek Into Darkness ($3.2M this weekend for a total of $216.8M) and Iron Man 3 which added an additional $2.2M to its already overflowing coffers, bringing its total up to a remarkable $403.2M. It now stands at #15 on the all-time list, just a hair behind fellow Marvel superhero Spider-Man.

Outside of the top 10 The Bling Ring expanded to 650 theaters and grossed $2M for a somewhat disappointing $3,080 per screen average. The expansion was actually poorer than the last major release from studio A24, Spring Breakers, which went wide in March and had a per screen average of $4,401. That film ended up with a $14M total gross.

The top ten films grossed $228.6M which was up a stellar 50% from last year when Brave opened at number one with $66.3M; and up 39% from 2011 when Cars 2 debuted in the top spot with $66.1M.

Compared to projections, both Monsters University and World War Z opened ahead of Gitesh's predictions of $75M and $48M, respectively.

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Watch the NEW trailer for Anchorman 2. For a review of Man of Steel visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Heat and White House Down both open.

# Title Jun 21 - 23 Jun 14 - 16 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Monsters University $ 82,429,469 4,004 1 $ 20,587 $ 82,429,469 Disney
2 World War Z 66,411,834 3,607 1 18,412 66,411,834 Paramount
3 Man of Steel 41,287,206 116,619,362 -64.6 4,207 2 9,814 210,078,153 Warner Bros.
4 This is the End 13,290,642 20,719,162 -35.9 3,055 2 4,350 58,082,166 Sony
5 Now You See Me 7,876,002 11,016,473 -28.5 2,823 4 2,790 94,456,978 Lionsgate
6 Fast & Furious 6 4,930,685 9,583,330 -48.5 2,417 5 2,040 228,618,155 Universal
7 The Purge 3,587,630 8,317,995 -56.9 2,201 3 1,630 59,604,075 Universal
8 The Internship 3,400,361 7,148,551 -52.4 1,916 3 1,775 38,339,866 Fox
9 Star Trek Into Darkness 3,166,709 6,256,254 -49.4 1,565 6 2,023 216,777,625 Paramount
10 Iron Man 3 2,212,582 2,956,855 -25.2 924 8 2,395 403,157,804 Disney
11 The Bling Ring 2,001,903 214,395 833.7 650 2 3,080 2,343,144 A24
12 Epic 1,793,375 6,284,905 -71.5 1,994 5 899 101,048,500 Fox
13 After Earth 940,031 4,052,042 -76.8 1,166 4 806 57,382,240 Sony
14 Before Midnight 901,292 1,382,719 -34.8 441 5 2,044 4,618,935 Sony Classics
15 Much Ado About Nothing 735,422 161,625 355.0 206 3 3,570 1,207,853 Roadside Attr.
16 The Hangover Part III 717,304 2,782,149 -74.2 530 5 1,353 110,013,772 Warner Bros.
17 The Great Gatsby 602,410 1,674,333 -64.0 362 7 1,664 141,600,513 Warner Bros.
18 The Croods 503,900 570,353 -11.7 324 14 1,555 183,566,525 Fox
19 Raanjhana 414,211 102 1 4,061 414,211 Eros
20 The East 365,101 287,955 26.8 195 4 1,872 1,208,042 Fox Searchlight
Top 5 $ 211,295,153 $ 166,256,322 27.1
Top 10 228,593,120 192,954,929 18.5
Top 20 237,568,069 201,547,931 17.9
Top 20 vs. 2012 237,568,069 160,987,429 47.6

Last Updated: June 24, 2013 at 10:00PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 6:40pm ET.

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