You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Monsters U’ Could Scare Off Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum

A pair of ass-kicking compadres in Fox’s “The Heat” and Sony’s “White House Down,” each tracking in the low-$30 millions, are no match for Disney/Pixar’s kid-pic holdover “Monsters University,” which should top the domestic box office in the low-$40 million range.

Paramount’s repeat player, “World War Z,” also could make a run for second place, depending how well it holds in its second outing: A 50% drop — which is the best possible outcome — would land the film similarly in the low-$30 millions after last weekend’s $66 million domestic opening. “Z” has cumed north of $88 million through Wednesday.

Summer box office currently is tracking 15% ahead of 2012’s record-setting season. Totals should take a hit this weekend, since “Ted” and “Magic Mike” led this same frame last year, with $54 million and $39 million, respectively.

Observers are split as to which new entry will earn more. “The Heat,” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, had a narrow edge in early ticket sales by mid-day Thursday, according to Fandango. Moreover, the R-rated comedy also is nearly doubling ticket sales of “Bridesmaids” and “Identity Thief” at this same point.

Box office has been firing on all cylinders lately, and there’s a chance that this weekend’s crop could also overperform.

For “White House Down,” which toplines Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, the potential for an upside is less likely given its mixed reviews so far, which could lead to unenthusiastic word-of-mouth. The action film, budgeted at around $150 million, kicks off this weekend in only a few Asian territories. Sony will begin rolling out the film in major markets like Russia starting mid-July.

“White House Down,” from helmer Roland Emmerich, represents a far more uncertain financial gamble compared to “The Heat,” which cost $43 million to produce. The former film looks to hit similar heights as Emmerich’s 2008 film “10,000 B.C.,” which became a financial wash costing around $100 million (not including marketing) with a worldwide gross at nearly of $270 million. “Down” could see stronger legs overseas based on popularity for Foxx mostly.

Meanwhile, domestic playability for “The Heat” appears strong, especially among over-25 women looking to have a girls-night-out. McCarthy has become a growing force at the box office. Bullock has a significant following, as well.

An opening in the low-to-mid $30 millions would position “The Heat” better than 2011’s breakout comedy “Bridesmaids,” which debuted with $26 million and wound up grossing a boffo $169 million domestically. Grossing a similar multiple is a tall order for any film, however.

Monsters University,” which scored the second-highest opening for a Pixar film last weekend, has reached $115 million in its first six days Stateside. Last year, “Brave” fell 49% in its second frame, though the year before “Cars 2” dropped 60%. “Monsters U” should fall somewhere in the middle, considering it earned a solid ‘A’ CinemaScore rating opening weekend.

At the specialty B.O., Roadside Attractions launches Jason Statham’s latest action pic “Redemption” at 19 locations. Sony Pictures Classics also is bowing Pedro Almodovar’s comedy “I’m So Excited” at five total theaters in New York and L.A.


Film (Distributor): Locations

  • White House Down (Sony): 3,222
  • The Heat (Fox): 3,181
  • Redemption (Roadside): 19
  • Byzantium (IFC): 6
  • I’m So Excited (Sony Classics): 5

More Film

  • Backtrace Review

    Film Review: 'Backtrace'

    “You can’t kill me! I died seven years ago!” It’s very much to the credit of Matthew Modine that he persuasively sells this melodramatic scrap of dialogue, and every other aspect of his trickily written lead character, in “Backtrace,” a better-than-average VOD-centric thriller that likely wouldn’t work nearly so well without the veteran actor’s totally [...]

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]


    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content