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Weekend Wrap-Up

2 Guns Mows Down Smurfs at the Box Office

By John Hamann

August 4, 2013

It's better than being in a Shyamalan movie.

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Finishing way back of its $53 million opening last weekend, Wolverine is wondering what the heck just happened given its A- Cinemascore. In its second weekend of release, the Hugh Jackman starrer pulled in only $21.7 million, giving it a large drop of 59% in its second weekend. Considering the first weekend wasn’t all that, the fair reviews (68% fresh) and the solid Cinemascore, 20th Century Fox had to be hoping for a hold closer to 50%. However, considering the fact that the studio has pulled in $90+ million in its first week overseas, they will likely care little about the domestic result beyond opening weekend. Wolverine has pulled in $95 million on the domestic side and is a hit internationally, so the $120 million comic book feature should double its production budget worldwide, at the very least.

That puts Smurfs 2 down in third. The Sony animated release earned only $18.2 million from Friday-to-Sunday, but did manage $27.8 million since opening Wednesday, which comes in under Sony’s reduced expectations ($30 million five-day) for this sequel. Like Wolverine, though, domestic numbers for Smurfs don’t mean much. The original awfulness pulled in three times as much overseas: $142.6 million domestic, versus $421.1 million from foreign shores. Sony announced a $52.5 million overseas opening for the sequel, which shows one can make a bad movie for kids (12% fresh), and still make scads of cash. Sony spent slightly less on the sequel - $105 million versus the original’s $110 million, as the sequel will likely earn less than the original’s $563 million worldwide gross. For adults looking for entertainment value from Smurfs 2, I suggest reading the reviews, as many are quite funny. A personal fave is from The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, who compared the entertainment value of Smurfs 2 to a cardboard box, with the box being much more stimulating, and containing no jokes about testicles.




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Horror flick The Conjuring finishes fourth, as the low budget Warner Bros. smash continues to hold. In its third weekend, the Vera Farmiga release earned another $13.7 million and dropped 38%, giving us two consecutive weekends where the horror release kept the hold above the 50% water mark. Releases like The Conjuring and January’s Mama with Jessica Chastain are showing that audiences are coming out for more of these old school horror movies. The Conjuring cost only $20 million to make and crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, its 16th day of release. That’s a day faster than Grown Ups 2 and Hangover Part III, so maybe there is righteousness in the world after all, despite the release of Smurfs 2. The Conjuring has now earned $108.6 million and is just getting started overseas.

Fifth spot goes to Despicable Me 2, which is still in the top five despite five weekends of release. Gru and his minions earned another $10.4 million, which was down 37% compared to last weekend partly because the debut of the Smurfs sequel. Universal called Despicable Me 2 its most successful film ever, given the $76 million production budget, a domestic gross of $326.7 million so far, and overseas gross that has eclipsed the stateside take. Currently, Despicable Me 2 sits in third on Universal’s top grossers list, behind only historic films like E.T. and Jurassic Park ($357 and $359 million). Those numbers will likely be tough to reach, but $350 million isn’t completely out of the question.


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