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Box Office: ‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Grown Ups’ Sequels Stunt ‘Pacific Rim’ Stateside

Warner-Legendary pic does better o'seas with $53 mil, while 'Grown Ups 2' grosses $42.5 mil domestically

Another weekend, another big-budget box office disappointment. This time it’s Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures’ $185 million-budgeted “Pacific Rim,” which collected just $38.3 million domestically. But the film saw better results overseas, earning $53 million from 38 territories.

As “Pacific Rim” floundered domestically, the battle for No. 1 came down to a pair of sequels: Universal’s toon holdover, “Despicable Me 2,” estimated $44.8 million in its second frame, down 46%, while “Grown Ups 2” earned $42.5 million. So far Stateside, “Despicable Me 2” has grossed an outstanding $229 million, with $472.4 million worldwide.

Globally, it was a close race for top ranking this weekend between “Despicable Me 2,” which collected $100.3 million worldwide, and “Pacific Rim’s” $91.3 million global weekend tally.

SEE MORE: Film Review: ‘Pacific Rim’

Even though “Pac Rim” — the monster mash-up from visionary director Guillermo del Toro — disappointed Stateside, the overall box office was up more than 20% over the same frame last year, continuing the summer’s record-setting pace.

There were few surprises this weekend, as the top three films landed in line with pre-weekend tracking estimates — though a last-minute barrage of advanced ticket sales for “Pacific Rim” had the media buzzing about a potential overperformance. Still, the fanboy-driven film was front loaded by Imax, which contributed 19% of the pic’s domestic opening with just 331 locations.

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Dan Fellman, Warner’s domestic distribution prexy, said he was encouraged by the performance in Imax, which the film has for four weeks. “We’re just going to leg this thing out, and hopefully we can bring in more than just fanboys,” Fellman added.

Audience reaction to “Pacific Rim” was mostly positive, with best responses from men. However, according to CinemaScore, women also rated the film an ‘A-‘.

SEE MORE: Inside ‘Pacific Rim’ With Guillermo del Toro

Meanwhile, “Grown Ups 2,” which scored a lukewarm ‘B’ rating, showcased the reliability of the franchise, as well as stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James, since the film has been skewered critically. Pic scored just 7% on RottenTomatoes. But more than half of the PG-13-rated film’s debut came from auds under 25, a demo less prone to reading reviews than adults.

“With so much competition in the market, to do as well as we did certainly speaks to the DNA of this film,” said Sony worldwide distribution prexy Rory Bruer, who said he expects the sequel to match, at least, its predecessor’s $265 million worldwide cume.

The Weinstein Co.’s limited release of Sundance pick-up “Fruitvale Station” scored the weekend’s highest per-theater average, with nearly $54,000 per location. The film bowed at seven theaters in New York, L.A. and San Francisco, where it totaled an estimated $377,285.

3D ‘Pacific’ tours abroad

While the domestic prospects for “Pacific Rim” appear limited, the pic’s overseas box office could surpass $300 million, according to pundits. That’s partly based on strong opening grosses from markets like Russia and South Korea, where “Pac Rim” earned north of $9 million in each territory, as well as prospects in on-deck markets including France, Germany China and Japan.

That said, a $400 million worldwide take won’t be enough for Legendary and Warner to recoup their total financial investment when adding in marketing costs. (Legendary financed 75% of the pic’s budget; Warner is on the hook for the rest.)

The film’s 3D and Imax presentations will boost international playability.

Russia led the 3D charge, with the format contributing 70% of the local opening, followed by Australia and the U.K., with 47% and 42%, respectively. In the U.S. and Canada alone, “Pacific Rim” earned 50% of its opening from 3D, the highest share for the format this summer Stateside.

Other English-speaking territories including Australia and the U.K. similarly were apathetic toward the genre film. In Oz, “Pac Rim” ranked third behind “The Heat” and “Despicable Me 2,” with $2.6 million, while Blighty contributed $3.2 million second to “Monsters University” locally.

Danger: ‘Ranger’ Drop-off

The disappointing domestic opening for “Pacific Rim” comes just a week after Disney’s ‘Lone Ranger” debacle. And digging in the spurs a bit deeper this weekend, “Ranger” — which cost upwards of $250 million to produce — fell a steep 62% for a Stateside cume surpassing $70 million. “Lone Ranger,” which bowed Friday in Brazil earning $1.2 million, has totaled nearly $120 million worldwide.

Disney has launched the Johnny Depp starrer in only 33 overseas territories, representing just 35% of the international market place. By comparison, “Pac Rim” debuted day-and-date in roughly half.

And speaking of summer B.O. duds, Sony’s “After Earth” bowed decently in China this weekend, earning $11.6 million (roughly 25% bigger than “Oblivion”) and pushing the pic’s overseas tally to $155.4 million. The film crossed the $200 million mark this weekend, though it’s done expanding overseas.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Despicable Me 2 (2): $44.8; 4,003; $11,180; $229.2; -46%
  2. Grown Ups 2 (1): $42.5; 3,491; $12,174; $42.5; —
  3. Pacific Rim (1): $38.3; 3,275; $11,695; $38.3; —
  4. The Heat (3): $14.0; 3,128; $4,476; $112.4; -44%
  5. The Lone Ranger (2): $11.1; 3,904; $2,843; $71.1; -62%
  6. Monsters University (4): $10.6; 3,142; $3,374; $237.8; -46%
  7. World War Z (4): $9.4; 3,003; $3,140; $177.1; -49%
  8. White House Down (3): $6.2; 2,566; $2,397; $63.0; -54%
  9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2): $5.0; 892; $5,605; $26.4; -50%
  10. Man of Steel (5): $4.8; 2,150; $2,244; $281.0; -58%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Despicable Me 2 (4): $55.5; 50; 7,900; $243.2; $472.4; -38%
  2. Pacific Rim (1): $53.0; 38; 9,800; $53.0; $91.3; —
  3. Monsters University (4): $30.2; 45; n/a; $236.4; $474.2; +2%
  4. World War Z (4): $22.4; 59; 8,051; $246.0; $423.1; -50%
  5. After Earth (6): $13.7; 59; 7,300; $155.4; $214.5; +270%

*in millions of $

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