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Wolverine Claws His Way To The Box Office Crown

In: Donovan, Movies

Good news. Wolverine was number one at the box office this weekend. Bad news. With no other new films to compete with, it earned less than what most industry insiders estimated it would pull, raking in just $55 million. While nothing to scoff at, the opening receipts are on the lower half of debuts from the X-Men franchise. X-Men: The Last Stand earned $122 million over Memorial Day weekend back in 2006.

With that being said, I don’t think FOX was expecting much from the sequel. The film’s budget was only 80 percent off what was spent on the original. I’m thinking The Wolverine was merely just an appetizer to whet fans’ appetites for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Speaking of which, if you stayed til the closing credits of Wolverine, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen make an appearance.

Dropping to second place was The Conjuring with $22 million. For a horror flick, the film held up extremely well, dropping only 47 percent. A drop basically unheard of for a horror film in today’s climate. In ten days, the possession thriller has earned $82 million, making it already the seventh-highest-grossing R-rated supernatural horror film of all-time. If it keeps this up, it could challenge The Blair Witch Project ($140 million) for the number two R-rated non-sequel horror film outside of The Exorcist. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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The Conjuring Scares Its Way To The Box Office Crown

In: Donovan, Movies

Four new films arrived in theaters this weekend hoping to unseat Despicable Me 2 from the box office throne. Even though animated films have been doing boffo business this summer, it wasn’t Turbo that took the crown but rather the horror flick, The Conjuring. The $20 million James Wan-directed flick opened with a scary $41.5 million. It’s the second-best debut ever for an R-rated horror film, trailing only Paranormal Activity 3, which opened with $52.6 million in 2011. In addition, it “conjured” up a fantastic “A-” CinemaScore grade which should bode well for its long-run prospects.

The second best debut of the weekend was the FOX and Dreamworks animated collaboration, Turbo. It came in at third place with only $21.5 million- the worst debut for a DreamWorks Animation film since 2006′s Flushed Away opened with $18.8 million. Bruce Willis’ sequel Red 2 landed at fifth place with $18.5 million, about 15 percent less than the original Red‘s $21.8 million opening in 2010.

The last of the freshmen flicks was R.I.P.D.. Johnny Depp and Channing Tatum better make some room for Ryan Reynolds on the loser couch. His new film is the latest high-profile box office bomb this summer, joining The Lone Ranger and White House Down. R.I.P.D., which reportedly had a $154 million budget, tanked with only $12.8 million in its first three days, good enough for seventh place. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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Despicable Me 2 Continues Its Reign At The Box Office

In: Donovan, Movies

After Friday night receipts, Grown Ups 2 looked like it was going to win the weekend but you can never count out those tiny yellow minions. Despicable Me 2 returned to the top of the box office, collecting another $44.8 million. That brings the family film to an impressive $229.2 million after only 12 days. It’ll definitely become the summer’s top animated film. Take that Disney and Pixar.

Even though it didn’t take the box office crown, Adam Sandler should be very proud of himself. After the embarrassing one-two punch of Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy, the 46-year-old bounced back with Grown Ups 2. The sequel (his first ever) opened to a solid $42.5 million. If estimates hold, it will be Sandler’s second-best opening ever behind 2005′s The Longest Yard, which debuted to $47.6 million.

In third place was Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Even though its sales on Fandango were outpacing those of World War Z, the film grossed only $38.3 million compared to Brad Pitt’s flick which opened with $66.4 million. The Warner Bros robot film will have to work extra hard overseas to recoup the reported $190 million budget. Hopefully its encouraging “A-” CinemaScore will result in great word of month and bring in more moviegoers in the coming weeks. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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I called it. The second Disney announced The Lone Ranger was in the works, I immediately smelled a stinker. With a reported budget of $225 million, the Johnny Depp flick wrangled just $29.4 million for the three day weekend and $48.9 million since its Wednesday opening. While critics skewered the western, moviegoers were kinder, giving it a respectable “B+ CinemaScore” grade. It’ll definitely need decent word of mouth to minimize the studio’s losses.

On the flip side, Universal scored big time with its animation sequel Despicable Me 2. The film brought in an estimated $82.5 million for the three day weekend and a total $142 million since Wednesday. With such a fantastic start, the film should have no problem topping its predecessor and perhaps even topple Monsters University as the year’s top grossing animated film.

Holding up remarkably well was Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s buddy film, The Heat. It added another $25M slipping only 36 percent from last week’s grosses. With Despicable Me 2 a popular choice among families, Disney and Pixar’s Monsters University took a direct hit, stumbling 57 percent to an estimated $19.6M after spending back-to-back weekends on top. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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Despite career best openings for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCartney, the duo couldn’t top Monsters University. The Pixar animated film topped the box office once again, adding another $46 million to its impressive total. Even though they came in the runner up slot, Bullock and McCartney have nothing to be embarrassed about. Their R-rated buddy cop flick opened strong with $40 million. With a solid “A-” CinemaScore, The Heat should have a lengthy run, challenging director Paul Feig’s last feature, Bridesmaids total box office haul. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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Clearly people were jonesing for another Monsters flick. Twelve years after Pixar released Monsters Inc., the furry creatures returned in a prequel and finished at the top of the box office class. Monsters University graduated with an impressive $82 million, marking the second highest Pixar opening behind only Toy Story 3 which opened with $110 million. With an ‘A’ CinemaScore from viewers, the family film should continue to do boffo business the rest of the summer.

Coming in second place was Brad Pitt’s World War Z. Despite bad buzz which has circled the film for months, the zombie flick walked away with an estimated $66 million this weekend, crushing industry expectations. This marks Pitt’s best opening. His previous best was Mr. & Mrs. Smith which opened to $50.3 million on its away to $186.3 million. With a solid ‘B+’ CinemaScore grade, the film should overtake the spy film co-starring his partner Angelina Jolie.

Last week’s top dog, Man of Steel fell an understandable 65% from its record-breaking opening. The Henry Cavill film has already beat what Superman Returns featuring Brandon Routh earned during its entire run. The surprise hit of the summer, Now You See Me, continued to impress. It notched another $7.9 million to $94.4, inching closer to the magical $100 milestone. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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The Purge Surges At The Box Office

In: Donovan, Movies

Who knew Ethan Hawke was such a box office draw? The 42-year-old scored his biggest opening to date with The Purge. The film which cost only $3 million to make, shattered all industry expectations by raking in a massive $36.4 million. Not too shabby. Long term prospects for the film don’t look too optimistic though. It dropped a discouraging 38 percent from Friday to Saturday and received a C CinemaScore grade. Still, Universal is going to make a nice little profit.

Hawke also did well on the indie circuit this weekend. Before Midnight scored $585,000 from just 52 locations for an early $1.5 million total. The sequel scored the highest per theater average in the Top 20 next to The Purge.

Also opening this weekend was Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s latest film together. The Internship opened in fourth place with less than half of The Purge. Definitely disappointing given the marketing dollars spent on the comedy as opposed to The Purge. The one silver lining is the comedy earned a better CinemaScore B+ grade than the thriller. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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After Earth Crashes At The Box Office

In: Donovan, Movies

The first time Will Smith teamed up with his son Jaden back in 2006, the two scored with The Pursuit of Happyness. The stunt casting proved unsuccessful the second time around. The $130 million M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi film, based on an original story idea by Will Smith himself grossed just $27 million and landed in third place. Reportedly, Sony was hoping for an opening in the $35 million neighborhood for After Earth. Smith used to by synonymous with summer blockbusters, but his latest represents his lowest summer opening in 20 years. Better fast track that Men In Black 4 script ;)

Taking the top spot for a second lap was Fast and Furious 6 even though it dropped a steep 65 percent to $34.5 million. The film has already earned $170.4 million, making it the second-highest in the franchise behind Fast Five‘s $209 million haul. Here’s a little fun fact about one of the film’s co-stars. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been in the Top 10 since February 22 with a string of films: Fast & Furious 6, Pain & Gain, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Snitch. Who knew The Rock was such a box office draw?

Also opening this weekend was the magician thriller, Now You See Me. The film worked its magic at the box office and conjured up an unexpected $28.1 million from only 2,925 theaters. Most industry experts were predicting a $20 million-range bow. Check out the rest of the Top 10 below.

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