Box Office Top 10 Film Film News

Box Office Decoded: Sandler Does Well, Pacific Rim Does Not, Those Despicable Me Minions Still Rule

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With the end of another weekend comes another batch of reports about how films-both new and old-fared at the box office.  This week, Despicable Me 2 continued its run of colossal box office dominance, Adam Sandler proved it may be too early to count him out (darn), and Guillermo Del Toro left fanboys in the United States and Canada cursing their fellow countrymen (and women) while cheering on fans overseas who are now the ones responsible to help make that planned sequel a reality.

Let’s run it down:

Top 10 Estimates for the 7/12-7/14 Weekend Box Office (Domestic)



1. Despicable Me 2 
  • Weekend Gross=$44.7 million
  • Total Gross=$229 million
  • Budget=$76 million

Foreign: In additional to ruling the domestic charts, DM2 also led the foreign box office with $55.5 million, upping its foreign gross to $243.2 million and combined worldwide gross to date to $472.4 million.

Holy minion!  It only dropped 46% in its second weekend at the domestic box office (that’s good), and it held off two new huge competitors to remain atop the chart (that’s even better).  At its current pace, it will have outgrossed the original Despicable Me by the end of the current week, and end up being the second-highest-grossing movie of the Summer behind Iron Man 3 (suck it, Man of Steel).

2. Grown Ups 2
  • Weekend Gross=$42.5 million
  • Total Gross=$42.5 million
  • Budget=$80 million

Foreign: Grown Ups 2 grossed $1.7 million in extremely limited overseas release for a combined worldwide gross of $43.2 million.

Grown Ups was a pretty big hit ($271.4 million worldwide/$80 million budget), yet it didn’t seem to be particularly well-liked.  The sequel appears to be outright hated by many.  However, it defied expectations by opening bigger than the original (well, not after inflation adjustments), and challenging Despicable Me 2 for the family audience.  It has definitely complicated things for those who figured audiences had finally tired of Adam Sandler based off of recent failures like Jack and Jill (which scored $149.6 million worldwide, failing to double its $79 budget) and That’s My Boy ($57.7 million worldwide on a $70 million budget).  Sandler appeared to be sliding toward the type of stars whose films people wait to rent rather than go to see (looking at you, Jim Carrey).  Is that still the case and Grown Ups 2 merely a matter of a well-timed release and brand loyalty to a successful predecessor?  Or has Sandler been wakened from his box office slumber?  Plus, how much of a bump did it get from being an ensemble not relying entirely on Sandler?

3. Pacific Rim


  • Weekend Gross=$37.3 million
  • Total Gross=$37.3 million
  • Budget=$190 million

Foreign: Pacific Rim failed to impress in the United States and Canada, but it also opened in around half of potential foreign markets where it grossed a combined $53 million.  It has yet to open in China and Japan, where it is expected to perform exceptionally well considering its Asian film inspirations.  At the moment, its worldwide gross is $91.3 million, and it is expected to make the majority of its money in foreign markets.  Similar to Star Trek Into Darkness, if there is a sequel it will be because of how well Pacific Rim plays overseas as opposed to how it plays here at home.

In U.S./Canada, half of its gross came from 3D ticket sales, the highest such total for any film this Summer.  It opened huge Thursday night into Friday night before dropping off considerably Saturday and Sunday, suggesting fanboys turned out in droves, but there was a much thinner crowd in waiting behind them.  However, the $37.3 million is still slightly better than some had predicted.  This is also the highest opening weekend of director Guillermo Del Toro’s career, ahead of Hellboy II: Golden Army ($34.5 million) though not after you adjust for inflation ($38.1 million).  The difference?  Hellboy II cost $85 million to produce versus the $190 million for Pacific Rim.

4. The Heat


  • Weekend Gross=$14 million
  • Total Gross=$112.3 million
  • Budget=$43 million

Foreign: The Heat is still primarily only playing in the United States and Canada, but it has grossed an additional $15.8 million overseas for a combined worldwide gross of $128.2 million.

Unlike many of the films released this Summer, The Heat so far appears to be one that people genuinely like without much reservation.  Its strong word-of-mouth has resulted in better-than-average week-to-week drop-offs, with the drop-off this past weekend being 44%.  Buoyed by this, it has now surpassed The Hangover III as the highest grossing live-action comedy of the Summer, domestically.  The studio locked down the director Paul Feig and stars McCarthy and Bullock for a sequel prior to the film’s release. This was a wise move on their part.

5. The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

  • Weekend Gross=$11.1 million
  • Total Gross=$71.1 million
  • Budget=$215-250 million

Foreign: Desperate for money wherever it can get it at this point, The Lone Ranger added $12.7 million in overseas gross for a combined worldwide total to date of $119.4 million.

Wow.  Just, wow.  The Lone Ranger is as stunning in its failure as Despicable Me 2 is in its success.  It nosedived in its second weekend 62%, and now it appears as if may not even reach $100 million domestic.  Audiences might just be sick of Johnny Depp’s schtick (this after The Rum Diary and Dark Shadows), and he might benefit from merely going away for a while.  Then again, it might have just been the wrong project, and the next Pirates of Caribbean will make over a billion dollars just like the last one. This weekend proved you can come back from a cold streak, as Adam Sandler did with Grown Ups 2.  However, his films are small potatoes compared to the budgets Depp works with nowadays.

6. Monsters University

Monsters-University banner

  • Weekend Gross=$10.6 million
  • Total Gross=$237.7 million
  • Budget=Disney & Pixar aren’t telling

Foreign: It is withering in the face of its first real competition, Despicable Me 2, in the United States/Canada, but it actually just opened in the U.K. and France.  It added $30.2 million in foreign gross for a combined worldwide gross to date of $474.1 million, keeping in mind that Monsters, Inc. topped out at $562 million worldwide in 2001.

Disney’s still not saying how much the film cost.  So, it’s difficult to know how successful the film has been, although it has made more domestically than Pixar’s last film Brave ($237.3 million). In comparison to its predecessor, Monsters, Inc., released nearly 12 years ago it will end up having being a slight step down money wise.  After adjusting for inflation, the original Monsters grossed $357 domestic versus the current $237.7 million for Monsters U.  To be fair, the original Monsters was released in early November where it did not face nearly as much stiff Summer movie competition as Monsters U.

7. World War Z


  • Weekend Gross=$9.4 million
  • Total Gross=$177 million
  • Budget=$190 million

Foreign: Similar to The Heat, World War Z seems to be among the films this Summer with the strongest world-of-mouth.  This has served it even more so overseas, where it grossed an addition $22.4 million this weekend for a combined worldwide gross to date of $422.9 million.  It has now more than doubled its production budget, and Paramount Pictures and producer/star Brad Pitt will almost certainly be finishing out their original intended trilogy of WWZ films now.

Remember how Rise of the Planet of the Apes was that movie from 2 years ago that never really looked that great and appeared to have no real buzz but then ended up making an astounding $481.8 million worldwide on the way to green-lighting a sequel?  WWZ is this year’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, only it cost around twice as much to make meaning its nowhere near as big of a success. 

8. White House Down


  • Weekend Gross=$6.1 million
  • Total Gross=$62.9 million
  • Budget=$150 million

Foreign: Like The Lone Ranger, this one needs “money, lots of money, please, God, give me your money” anywhere it can get it.  At the moment, though, the largest foreign markets showing it are South Korea and Malaysia, and it has only grossed $19.7 million overseas for a combined worldwide gross to date of $82.6 million.  It needs to play huge in the bigger foreign markets if it is to have any chance of emerging from its current status as one of the biggest bombs of the past decade to merely being a big disappointment for the studio and ending star Channing Tatum’s hot streak.

It’s not looking good, but Jamie Foxx will likely make everyone forget all about this next year as one of the villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Crap.  That probably just jinxed him, didn’t it?

9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
  • Weekend Gross=$5 million
  • Total Gross=$26.3 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Score one for brilliant counter-programming.  There is simply nothing else out there like Kevin Hart’s comedy concert film, and his increasingly sizeable fanbase has turned the likely microbudgted film into a hit.  However, it did drop off nearly 60% from weekend to weekend, and it is only playing in U.S./Canada at the moment.  Its time in the Top 10 is probably going to be over this time next week, but for those who didn’t already know they now know the name Kevin Hart.

10. Man of Steel


  • Weekend Gross=$4.8
  • Total Gross=$280.9 million
  • Budget=$225 million

Foreign: Man of Steel added $13.3 million from overseas markets, especially Brazil, for a combined worldwide gross to date of $619 million.

Love it, hate it, don’t know to feel about it, Man of Steel is now the highest grossing Superman film of all time, although once you adjust for inflation Superman and Superman II still have it beat.  It is a bit distressing how fast Man of Steel has fallen off at the domestic marketplace, staying in the Top 10 for only 5 weeks (it will be stunning if it is still on this list next week).  As a point of comparison, the less-hyped, far more modest film Now You See Me held on in the Top 10 for 6 weeks this Summer.

What’s up next?:  

The kids film Turbo opens Wednesday (7/17) with Friday openings for two slightly more niche, light-hearted action movies (Reds 2, R.I.P.D.) and one good ole fashioned ghost story (The Conjuring).  Plus, the indie comedy The Way, Way Back starring Steve Carrell and directed/written by The Descendents guys (Jim Rash, Nat Faxon) expands to 250 more locations in its third weekend of limited release before opening wide on 7/26.

Oy, enough with the numbers.  I’m done.  Okay. I just saw The Heat this past weekend and loved it.  Let’s just use the comments section to talk about how favorite moments….Fine.  That’s off-topic.  If you are as distressed about Man of Steel or don’t think it’s that big of a deal, let me know in the comments section.  The same goes if you have any kind of reaction to anything else I said.

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