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Weekend Box Office: Monster U Beats The Heat, White House Down

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By Chris Kavan - 07/01/13 at 12:10 AM CT

Notch up another great weekend for Hollywood as Pixar and the only female-centric comedy of the year helped to give a big boost to the box office. However, everything wasn't coming up roses as the second White House-in-peril action film of the year failed to deliver big numbers in the face of competition from zombies and a still-going-strong superhero. But if the movies continue to perform like this, the summer may bail out 2013 considering the slow start it had.

1) MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

After a strong start, the Pixar prequel continued to do great business, dropping just 44% in it second week out. The $46.2 million it brought in raised its total to $171 million. It was a major improvement over Cars 2 (which dropped 60% in its second week) and was even better than Toy Story 3 (465 drop) and Brave (49% drop). The real test is going to come this weekend when Despicable Me 2 also drops. If it can weather that storm, a $300 million total should be likely.

2) THE HEAT

Women showed up in force (to the tune of 65% of the audience) for the Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock comedy The Heat. The $40 million second-place showing was the highest opening for Bullock - beating out The Blind Side ($34.1 million) and The Proposal ($33.6) and was also a higher debut than McCarthy's earlier 2013 film Identity Thief ($34.6 million). For director Paul Feig, it easily topped Bridesmaids ($26.2 million) as his highest-grossing film. The A- Cinemascore should mean the film will have a decent run at the box office, with a total in the $150 million range likely. It will ultimately fall short of Bridesmaids - but that success is going to be hard to match for any film. Still, it goes to show that even with an R rating - a movie that targets the right audience at the right time will succeed.

3) WORLD WAR Z

After opening stronger than expected, World War Z fell 55% in its second weekend, taking in $29.8 million and winding up with a $123.7 million total. That drop off is in line with most summer action blockbusters - but not with horror films (which typically take a much steeper drop) and it means that Brad Pitt's film has a better chance of retaining a bigger audience week-to-week. It also means there's a very good chance the film will top Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($186.3 million) to become Pitt's top-grossing movie to date - and will earn back its $190 million budget (though it will need foreign market help to cover the heft marketing costs). Still, for a "zombie" film - it's looking like it will live up to its epic moniker.

4) WHITE HOUSE DOWN

With just a $25.7 million debut, Roland Emmerich's latest big-budget action piece fell short of expectations - failing to match the $30.4 million that Olympus Has Fallen took in earlier in the year. It turns out that Channing Tatum isn't enough to sway females - as most of them flocked to The Heat, while action fans were split between this film, World War Z and Man of Steel. As last year's breakout star, Tatum's previous films all opened to at least $36 million. With a reported budget of $150 million, the film is going to have to make up a big chunk overseas, as it will struggle to reach $100 million domestically. The best that can be said it audiences did award it an A- Cinemascore, meaning those who turned out enjoyed it. It remains to be seen if word of mouth will help it in the coming weeks.

5) MAN OF STEEL

After a pretty big second-week drop, Man of Steel managed to level out somewhat, dropping 50% in its third weekend and taking in $20.8 million, bringing its total up to $248.6 million. It jumped over both Oz the Great and Powerful and Fast 6 to become the second-highest grossing film of 2013, trailing just Iron Man 3. If it can hold pace, it should clear the $300 million mark before it runs out of steam.

Outside the top 10: Now You See Me once again had the best hold of any film in the top 10, easing just 30.2% in its fifth week out. The $5.5 million seventh-place showing was good enough to push it over the $100 million mark and it now stands at $104.7 million mark - still one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 movie season.

Next week gives us the animated Despicable Me 2 and the live action Lone Ranger. Both films will open early to take advantage of the July 4 holiday and will battle Monsters University for the top spot.

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