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Weekend Box Office: Monsters, Zombies Take a Bite Out of Box Office

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By Chris Kavan - 06/24/13 at 01:47 AM CT

It certainly was a monster weekend at the box office. Thanks to the two newest entries providing a big splash, the total box office managed to break into the top 10 for the 9th-best total box office total of all time. The good news wasn't limited to just new movies - although a certain superhero is probably wishing the competition didn't do as well as they did. Still, going into July, the box office is showing more and more signs of life and the summer could make up for the slow start to the 2013 season.

1) MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

Count another #1 opening for Pixar (for those keeping count, the studio has a perfect 14/14 record for films opening at the top spot). But it wasn't just a good opening - it was a great one. Monsters University raked in $82 million over the weekend - the second-best opening for any Pixar film (behind just Toy Story 3 at $110.3 million). It turns out this prequel was not just a safe bet, but a lucrative one. It comes at just the right time. Families didn't turn out for Epic, so the young crowd (and there parents) were still looking for something fresh. The movie did the trick and, if it can hold on this well (at least until Despicable Me 2 hits in July) a $230 million total should be a reachable target. Audiences awarded it a solid "A" cinemascore and the only downside to the news is that 3D accounted for just 31% of grosses.

2) WORLD WAR Z

Despite some pretty harsh assessments about the health of Brad Pitt's zombie epic, it turns out audiences just flat out couldn't care less about the drama surrounding it. Beating pretty much every weekend forecast, World War Z opened with a hefty $66 million. In terms of second-place showings, it was the second best ever - falling just short of The Day After Tomorrow (whose second-place effort was $68.7 million). In terms of star power, it was also Pitt's best-ever opening, beating out Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($50.3 million) quite handily. In terms of June opening, it is tracking ahead of notable films Prometheus ($51.1 million) and Wanted ($50.3 million). Surprisingly women made up more of the audience than men (slightly - at 51%) and not as surprising, it audience also skewed older (67% over 25). They awarded it a B+ cinemascore and, should it manage to hold up in the coming weeks, a $150 million total is about what it can expect. Though it cost a reported $200 million (not counting the heavy marketing) - it should more than make up for that with foreign markets taken into account.

3) MAN OF STEEL

If there could be a movie considered the "loser" of the weekend, it would be Man of Steel. The darker turn for Superman may have been a bit much, as the film took a pretty big 65%. In comparison, The Incredible Hulk fell just 60% while the spectacle that was Green Lantern dropped 66%. Still, the extra $41.2 million easily let Man of Steel fly passed the $200 million mark - winding up at just over $210 million. That's good enough to top Superman Returns ($200 million) and even if it took a big hit, it should approach the $300 million mark before it ends its run.

4) THIS IS THE END

The end of the world comedy fell just 37.4% thanks to some good word-of-mouth and took in another $13 million to raises its total to $57.8 million and by next week will double its $32 million budget and could hit the magic $100 million mark if it continues to hold this well in the next few weeks.

5) NOW YOU SEE ME

The magic crime caper had another great hold, dropping just 28.6% in its fourth week and will likely join the $100 million club sometime this coming week. The $7.8 million it took in gave it a new total of $94.4 million

Outside the top five: A film that did join the $100 million club was Epic, breaking the mark down in 12th place. The $1.73 million just eased it over the milestone mark as it now sits at $101 million. Also expanding this weekend is the critically well-received The Bling Ring - which jumped from 21st to 11th place with $2 million though its per-theater average of $3077 couldn't match the numbers of earlier Spring Breakers - which had a more robust $4401 average in just about the same number of theaters.

Next week will see the release of the Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock comedy The Heat, along with the second action-packed, presidential-themed film of the year - White House Down and Jason Statham hopes you forgot how "great" Parker was in another film where I'm sure he hits and kicks a lot of people in Redemption

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