It was a weekend of blowing expectations to pieces at the North American box office with both Monsters University and World War Z over delivering on their opening weekends. But it’s not all roses and smiles. While two rise another must fall, and in this case it was Man of Steel.
With an $82.4 million debut, Monsters University claimed the 2nd best opening of all time for Pixar. I’m talking about the same Pixar that has had 10 films open above $60 million over the last 12 years, pics like Finding Nemo ($70.2 million), Wall-E ($63 million), Up ($68.1 million), The Incredibles ($70.4 million) or Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million, the only one that stands above Monsters University). Unlike Cars 2, which ended up under delivering after a strong debut, I’m sure Monsters University will finish its run above the $255.8 million of Monster, Inc. (2001), although that won’t be the case anymore once we adjust for inflation ($391.8 million, really hard to match for any film).
World War Z, easily the biggest surprise of the year (considering how many thought it would be a flat-out box office disaster), took home $66.4 million. So the Brad Pitt action movie (best debut of his career) is now the 2nd highest grossing zombie flick ever after just 3 days. I don’t know about you but I think that’s very impressive and definitely proof that zombies are more alive than ever at the box office, maybe also partially thanks to a certain TV show that’s incredibly popular. Now let’s not get way ahead of ourselves, impressive as $66.4 million may be, World War Z still cost a whopping $190 million to produce. That’s more than the last three Resident Evil movies combined and those brought about $684 million worldwide, a number well beyond World War Z‘s reach. That being said, World War Z was a lot more fun than those Resident Evil movies, I just wish it didn’t cost as much. Ultimately it was a bet that will pay off for Brad Pitt with the zombie flick on its way to $140-150 million in North America and at least $350 million worldwide (although it needs close to $400 million to break even during its theatrical run).
With only so much money to go around, there had to be a victim in this box office war and unfortunately Man of Steel was it. Down a concerning 64.5%, the superhero movie made $41.2 million over the weekend for a domestic total of $210 million. Now don’t worry, Man of Steel should rebound in the coming weeks and as long as that happens (it might not, just saying) $300 million will still be in the books.
This is the End was steady in 4th at $13.2 million and $58 million thus far while Now You See Me, off only 28.5%, rounded out the top 5 with $7.8 million and a total of $94.4 million.
Here’s a fun fact for you readers out there. So far this June we’ve had three movies that managed to open high enough to land on the month’s all-time top 10, and for your viewing pleasure I give you the biggest June weekends of all time, headlined by our 2013 releases:
10. Hulk (2003) $62.1 million
9. Wall-E (2008) $63 million
8. Cars 2 (2011) $66.1 million
7. Brave (2012) $66.3 million
6. WORLD WAR Z (2013) $66.4 million
5. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (2013) $82.4 million
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $93.6 million
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $108.9 million
2. Toy Story 3 (2010) $110.3 million
1. MAN OF STEEL (2013) $116.6 million