B.O. Roundup, June 21-23: 'Monsters U' and 'World War Z' Lead Huge Crowd

Sunday, 23 June 2013 11:28 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, June 21-23: 'Monsters U' and 'World War Z' Lead Huge Crowd

For the most part, this weekend basically consisted of America high-fiving a bunch of big movies.  By which we mean to say that this was the biggest overall June weekend on record (not adjusted for inflation).

Predictably, Monsters University was atop the heap for this three-day frame, but World War Z fought off doomsayers with a surprisingly big haul in second place.

There was really never any doubt that Monsters University would bring in the most cash this weekend.  Every single one of Pixar's fourteen features has debuted in first place.  Still, even by those standards, the prequel is a big success, earning an estimated $82.0 million from 4,004.  That makes it the second-biggest Pixar opening so far, behind only Toy Story 3, which debuted to $110.3 million in 2010.

In 2001, its predecessor opened to $62.5 million on the way to a worldwide haul of $562.8 million.  Critics and audiences are thoroughly enjoying Monsters University, which also earned an additional $54.4 million from 34 foreign territories, and the first Pixar feature helmed by Dan Scanlon ought to meet or surpass the global gross of Monsters Inc (again, not adjusted for inflation).

For months, an air of schadenfraude has surrounded World War Z, the very loose adaptation of Max Brooks's bestseller.  The combination of a huge movie star, a director without much event movie experience, extensive reshoots, a delayed release date, stories from a chaotic production, and major third-act rewrites had prognositicators prognosticating a costly disaster for Paramount Pictures.  Heading into the weekend, projections had World War Z finishing the weekend with between $40 and $55 million.

Instead, the moviegoing public turned out to see Brad Pitt at the end of the world, as World War Z earned an estimated $66.0 million from 3,607 locations.  That's the biggest opening of Pitt's career and a pleasant surprise for all involved.  Many analysts have been chalking that surprise up to the popularity of zombies, but given that the marketing for World War Z virtually omitted the undead, that's unlikely.  More likely that Pitt and an of-the-moment apocalyptic thriller played to the current mood.

Last weekend's big winner, Man of Steel, was expected by many to earn more than World War Z by a country mile in its second week of release.  But Zack Snyder's Superman reboot followed up its record-setting debut with a pretty precipitous drop, losing 65% of its audience from the first weekend.  Its $41.2 million estimate brought its ten-day domestic total to $210.0 million, but Man of Steel's steep decline suggests that word of mouth hasn't been so strong.

Check out the top ten movies in the nation for the weekend of June 21-23:

1. Monsters University                         $82.0 million               New Release

2. World War Z                                      $66.0 million              New Release

3. Man of Steel                                      $41.2 million              $210.0 million

4. This Is the End                                  $13.0 million              $57.7 million

5. Now You See Me                               $7.8 million               $94.4 million

6. Fast & Furious 6                                $4.7 million               $228.4 million

7. The Internship                                   $3.4 million               $38.3 million

8. The Purge                                          $3.4 million               $59.4 million

9. Star Trek Into Darkness                    $3.0 million               $216.6 million

10. Iron Man 3                                        $2.1 million               $403.1 million

On Friday, White House Down and The Heat attempt to knock Monsters University off its perch.

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