‘World War Z’ Could Surpass $60 Million as Monster B.O. Weekend Kicks Off

'Monsters University' Should Win the Weekend With $70 Million-Plus

World War Z Brad Pitt Mireille

Paramount and Skydance’s zombie thriller “World War Z” swarmed the U.S. box office on Friday, outperforming early projections and adding to what should be a record-breaking weekend for Hollywood.

Starring Brad Pitt, the 3D blockbuster was approaching $60 million as of Friday evening, only slightly behind  Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University” ($68-72 million) for the No. 1 spot.

SEE ALSO: “World War Z” a Big Test for Paramount

“World War Z,” directed by Marc Forster, marks the best opening weekend of Brad Pitt’s career, topping the 2005 debut of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” ($50.4 million).

Box office analysts warn “World War Z” could rise even higher Friday night from latenight audiences, but “Monsters University” should rest comfortably in first place.

SEE ALSO: “Monsters U” Makes Billy Crystal Feel Young

Meanwhile, Warners’ “Man of Steel” continued to attract legions of superhero fans Friday, dropping 60% in week-to-week earnings for an estimated $50 million weekend.

The “Man of Steel” numbers could prove to be the third and final piece in helping Hollywood achieve history this weekend. Never before, during a non-holiday weekend, have three movies earned more than $50 million each at the box office.