July 13, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Grown Ups 2” Has A (Temporary) Win; “Pacific Rim” Falls Back


If the preliminary numbers at Deadline hold, there was good news on Friday for Adam Sandler and his studio, as GROWN UPS 2 (Sony) won the day with a strong $16.5M (including $2.3M from Thursday night).  That’s better than the $14.4M that the original Grown Ups had on its opening day in 2010, and might mean a $40M+ weekend (Grown Ups opened with $40.5M, so Sony will no doubt project a number higher than that on Sunday), although sequels tend to be frontloaded, so the 3-day total could end up lower in final results.  In any case, Friday’s box office alone was bigger than the entire opening weekend for That’s My Boy, which has to be a huge relief for the hordes of Sandler pals who get paychecks from Happy Madison.  It’s also much needed for Sony after the failures of After Earth and White House Down.

Despite all that, it’s very unlikely that Grown Ups 2 will hold for the win over the entire weekend.  DESPICABLE ME 2 (Universal) reportedly had a $15M Friday, and will almost certainly get a big boost from Saturday matinees, giving it the weekend with $45M+, down less than 50% from last weekend.

Not all that surprisingly, PACIFIC RIM (Warners/Legendary) was heavily frontloaded with genre fans, and despite an impressive $3.6M on Thursday night, it added only $9.9M on Friday for an “opening day” of $13.5M.  That lack of momentum may only get worse over the rest of the weekend, and the epic might reach just $35M by Sunday, a disastrous number for a movie with a $200M (plus marketing) budget.  It’s likely to do well in Asia, since that’s very much part of its design (most of the story takes place in or around Hong Kong, and one of the major characters is Japanese), but the rest of the world is a question mark, and Asia alone isn’t going to be enough to make Pacific Rim a hit.  (Incidentally, Cinemascore exit polls are particularly meaningless on a movie like Pacific Rim, because by definition, the people being polled are the frontloading genre fans.)

Any hope that THE LONE RANGER (Disney) would find some good word of mouth to keep it alive disappeared as it virtually disappeared to $3.4M on Friday, down almost 70% from last week.  It’s only going to have a $10M weekend, and won’t even reach $100M in the US–not much ahead of John Carter‘s $73.1M.  That week-to-week decline was even worse than the one for the Kevin Hart concert movie LET ME EXPLAIN (Lionsgate), which fell 60% from last week and should still get to $35M total.

THE HEAT (20th) fell about 50% from last Friday, and should be on track for a $12.5M weekend and $135M US total.  MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Disney/Pixar) continued its post-Despicable Me tumble, and now seems likely to have a $10M weekend and reach about $255M in the US (by the end of this weekend, Despicable 2 should be at $225M+, easily capable of getting to $300M).  WORLD WAR Z (Paramount) fell 55% for a $8M weekend, and seems less likely to make it to $200M in the US.   MAN OF STEEL (Warners) lost some theatres and dropped a big 65% to $1.4M on Friday, and will peter out before hitting $300M domestically.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."