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Weekend Box Office: Sequels Steal the Spotlight from Pacific Rim Over Strong Weekend

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By Chris Kavan - 07/15/13 at 12:15 AM CT

The 2013 summer season continued its impressive run even if the latest blockbuster may have stumbled a bit at the gates. With a $191 million total, the weekend was up 24% compared to the same weekend last year. This weekend it was a couple of high-profile sequels that dominated whereas an original big-budget sci-fi movie will have to rely on international audiences in order to stay in the black.

1) DESPICABLE ME 2

After an impressive opening, the minion-filled family-friendly animated sequel held the top spot for the second weekend in a row, taking in $44.75 million (down 46.4%). That raised the total for the film up to $229.2 million and should easily surpass the original film's $251.5 million by next weekend. If the film continues along its current path, it could wind up with nearly $350 million, which would rank it as the second-highest grossing movie of the year, behind only Iron Man 3 ($406.8 million). It will be interesting to see how Turbo stacks up to the popular sequel.

2) GROWN UPS 2

Another sequel also opened to some good numbers this weekend. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade all have good reason to be happy - their ensemble sequel took in $42.5 million - good enough for second place. It was above the first film's $40.5 million opening, but it will likely not share the same word-of-mouth buzz as the B Cinemascore suggests it won't hang around as long. Still, the film represents the second-best live action opening for Adam Sandler (just behind the $47.6 million of The Longest Yard) and represents a much better opening that recent bombs Jack and Jill ($25 million opening) and That's My Boy ($13.45 million opening). The film also represents the best opening for a comedy film for 2013, beating out the Hangover Part III ($41.7 million). It just goes to show that safe, crude comedy still sells.

3) PACIFIC RIM

Although anticipation was high going into the weekend, the sci-fi robot vs. monster blockbuster Pacific Rim could only muster $38.3 million. While that is the best opening for Guillermo del Toro (beating out the $34.5 million for Hellboy II) the film fell short of expectations. Compared to recent openings, it was on par with Oblivion ($37 million opening - $89.1 million total to date) and far short of World War Z, which opened with $66.4 million. The film is on track to break $100 million - but probably won't go much higher. The film did well in both IMAX (19% total grosses) and has the best 3D total of any film so far this year (at 50%) but even those weren't enough to make Pacific Rim stand out. The movie will have to rely on good international numbers in order to make back its reported $190 million budget.

4) THE HEAT

The Heat joined the $100 million club over the weekend, taking in $14 million to raise its total to $112.36 million. The film had the best hold out of any movie in the top 12, dropping 43.5% in its third weekend. The film is on pace to cross the $150 million, which would make it the highest-grossing comedy for 2013. Sandler and crew may have had an impressive opening this weekend, but it's Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock who are going to have the last laugh when the final numbers come in.

5) THE LONE RANGER

After a rough start, things didn't go any better for Johnny Depp as The Lone Ranger took a steep 62% hit (the worst drop for any film in the top 12). The $11.1 million it took in raised its total to $71.1 million. In comparison, another Depp disappointment, Public Enemies, only dropped 45% in its second weekend. With these numbers, it's likely Lone Ranger will fail to top the $100 million mark before it ends its run.

Outside the top 10: In limited release (seven theaters to be exact) the critically-acclaimed Fruitvale Station had a very impressive $53,857 per-theater average. With that kind of opening, the film should continue to expand in the coming weeks.

World War Z added $9.43 million (7th place) and broke the $175 million milestone, winding up with $177.1 million total. Although it's dropping, a $200 million total is still quite possible.

Next weekend is going to be crowded with four wide releases coming in: You have the antics of Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D, the based-on-a-true-story horror film The Conjuring, the animated snail-racing Turbo and the star-studded action sequel Red 2.

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