Monsters University retained the top spot in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second weekend, taking in about $45.6 million in sales for the company’s Pixar studio.
The Heat, an R-rated action/comedy pairing Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as a Boston cop, was second with $39 million for 20th Century Fox, researcher Hollywood.com said. It fell within the range of estimates for it. White House Down, from Columbia Corp., the other new film of the weekend, was fourth with $24.8 million, less than the $35 million to $41.6 million forecast. It placed behind World War Z, Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse epic, which was third with $29.7 million.
Monsters University, a prequel to the 2001 hit Monsters Inc., adds to the string of hit movies from Pixar. Disney bought the studio for $7.01 billion in 2006 as part of a plan to make fewer, higher-profile movies likely to return a profit. It’s since cemented that strategy with the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, producer of The Avengers and Iron Man films, and Lucasfilm Ltd., maker of the Star Wars movies.
In the latest film, the young monsters Mike and Sulley arrive at college to train for coveted jobs scaring human children, whose screams generate the electricity that powers their alternate society. Since opening, Monsters University has taken in $170 million, according to Hollywood.com.
Disney veered from its franchise formula on Wednesday when it opened The Lone Ranger, based on the 1950s television series (which was based on a radio serial) about a masked gunman who roamed the 19th-century American West righting wrongs. In the new version, Armie Hammer plays the title character and Johnny Depp plays Tonto, his American Indian partner.
Made for an estimated $225 million, it was expected to take in $35 million in its opening and $135 million during its domestic run in theaters, according to Boxoffice.com.
It will also face stiff competition from the release of Despicable Me 2, a sequel to the 2010 animated hit from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, which was also released Wednesday.
Despicable Me 2 is predicted to take in $76 million in its debut and $353 million during its theatrical run.
In The Heat, Bullock plays an arrogant though by-the book FBI agent. Problems arise when she is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston detective, played by McCarthy, to investigate a drug lord. The movie, made for an estimated $43 million, was forecast to take in $42.2 million by Box Office Mojo and $34 million by Boxoffice.com. The film had a 64 percent favorable rating on Rottentomatoes.com.
White House Down stars Channing Tatum as a police officer who is rejected for a job protecting the U.S. president, played by Jamie Foxx. He ends up as the president’s unofficial bodyguard when, while taking his daughter on a White House tour, terrorists attack.
In World War Z, Pitt stars as a retired United Nations investigator called on to discover the origins of a virus that can turn humans into zombies in a matter of seconds. The film, based on Max Brooks’ novel, has made $123.7 million since it opened.
MovieStyle, Pages 26 on 07/05/2013
Print Headline: Monsters beats Heat for No. 1