Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Despicable Me 2" crushes expectations, "The Lone Ranger" becomes fourth flop of 2013

Ah, Fourth of July. You never disappointment at the box office. Unless, you're The Lone Ranger, of course. This weekend was one of the most anticipated box office wise for the whole year, because we would finally get to see how much people loved the first Despicable Me and we would get to see how much people love Johnny Depp. I now have the answers to both of those questions. 

In first place this long, five-day weekend was Universal's Despicable Me 2. The $76 million animated film was projected to at least get over $100 million. It far surpassed that. The animated comedy debuted in first place with $82.5 million over three days for a $142.1 million cume over five days. That's far beyond expectations and with no competition until Turbo and an "A" Cinemascore, Despicable Me 2 should have no trouble passing $350 million, which would make it a very successful film. Add that to the fact that it is pacing around Toy Story 3-level overseas and Universal may just have a billion dollar film on their hands. Universal's going to need all the help they can get from Fast 6 and Despicable Me because they have two films that could flop badly in the upcoming months: R.I.P.D. and 47 Ronin. Both are expensive and neither is going to be a huge success. But with the success of Despicable Me 2, Fast 6 and Identity Thief, Universal is still going to come out on top. 

Now that I've given the good news, let's move onto the bad. The Lone Ranger rode alone this weekend as barely anyone went to go see it. It made $29.4 million over the 3-day weekend and it made a total over $48.9 million over five days. That's way below Disney's low ball $65 million prediction but it could reach $100 million with its "B+" Cinemascore. So at least it's not John Carter. At this point, I don't know if Disney can start up a franchise anymore. They marketed the heck out of The Lone Ranger and I'm not sure if it was bad reviews or a sense of tiredness that prevented people from seeing it, but I'm almost positive that the relationship between Gore Verbinski and Disney is about to end. Even with another $200 million overseas, this film is still not breaking even. And international audiences don't respond to Westerns unless they're made by Tarantino. So look for a Disney write-down in the coming weeks. 

In third place was Fox's The Heat. The female buddy-cop comedy grossed another $25 million over the 3-day period raising its total to $86.3 million, which is really good. That's a 36% drop for the film which indicates strong word of mouth and means that the film will eventually hit a total as high as $150 million. Monsters University took its first real hit this weekend with a 57% drop to $19.5 million in fourth place. Disney/Pixar's animated comedy has grossed $216 million so far, but with Despicable Me 2 now in the marketplace, it is going to have a really hard time getting people to head out to it. 

Fifth and sixth place belonged to the action films this weekend with World War Z in the former with another $18.2 million. That's a really solid hold and with a lack of any action film that is tearing up the marketplace and a $158.7 million total thus far, it's looking like $200 million is in sight for WWZ. That total is not in sight for White House Down which finished in the latter position with another $13.5 million. The word of mouth was not as strong as expected as the film received a good "A-" Cinemascore last week. WHD has now grossed $50 million. 

Man of Steel finished in seventh place with $11.4 million. The superhero film is nearing the end of its run and it seems that at this point, $300 million is not in view despite that strong opening. Man of Steel has grossed $271.2 million so far. However, the biggest surprise of the weekend actually lies in 8th place with Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. The stand-up documentary grossed $10.1 million over the 3-day period after opening on Wednesday. Through five days, it has grossed a really solid $17.4 million, and with an "A" Cinemascore, look for this to keep going strong through the rest of the month. And rounding out the top ten were This is the End in ninth with $5.8 million to raise its total to $85.5 million and Now You See Me in tenth with another $2.7 million to raise its total to $110 million.

Next weekend sees the release of Pacific Rim and Grown Ups 2. Who will come out on top? Here are my predictions: 

1. Despicable Me 2- $58.4 million
2. Pacific Rim- $53.3 million
3. Grown Ups 2- $40 million
4. The Heat- $17 million
5. The Lone Ranger- $15.1 million
6. Monsters University- $12 million
7. World War Z- $10 million
8. White House Down- $7 million
9. Man of Steel- $6.9 million
10. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain- $6.4 million

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