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Weekend Predictions: Will Monsters School Zombies?

June 20th, 2013

There are two potential monster hits opening this weekend: Monsters University and World War Z. Not only should both of those films score with moviegoers, but Man of Steel's sophomore stint should be strong as well resulting in a powerful weekend box office. This weekend last year was led by Brave with $66.32 million, a figure Monsters University should top. Meanwhile this year has a lot more depth at the box office than last year did, so 2013 should earn a victory in the year-over-year comparison. This is great news, because 2013 is still far behind 2012.

Monsters University is the sequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc., a film that opened with $62.58 million and finished with $289.42 million domestically. Those are numbers that this film could top. On the positive side, more than a decade of inflation means getting to $300 million is a whole lot easier, especially with the 3D ticket prices. Secondly, there's not a lot of direct competition for the film. While digitally animated films are no longer event pictures simply because of their production method, Monsters University is easily the biggest such film to be released this year. The most recent was Epic, which came out almost a month ago and barely made $100 million. (In fact, as I'm writing this is still hasn't gotten there, but it will over the weekend.) On the down side, the film's reviews are weak compared to Pixar's average. However, at this point I think the Pixar name hurts a film with critics, because critics naturally compare the movie to earlier films that were absolute classics. There are some who think this film will earn more than $90 million at the box office. Others think it will struggle to get to $70 million. I'm going with $79 million over the weekend and $260 million in total.

Man of Steel should cruise past $200 million over the weekend, even though it could fall more than 60% during its sophomore stint. I think it will avoid that fate, barely, adding $49 million over the weekend, pushing its running tally to $220 million. It is on pace to reach $300 million, which should be enough to earn a sequel, but hopefully the next Superman film will be better than this one was.

Like the previous film on this list, World War Z started out earning amazing reviews. Unfortunately, those reviews have soured somewhat falling to 68% positive. This isn't a bad score for a summer blockbuster, but given the source material, it should have been better. In fact, that's the number one complaint a lot of fans of zombie movies will have. The movie ignored the book too much and the end result is a more or less generic zombie action movie. Even so, it should still earn more than $40 million over the weekend, perhaps more than $50 million. I'm going with $46 million.

This is the End has excellent reviews and there is no direct competition this weekend. Also, because it opened on a Wednesday, it should hold on better over the weekend. A 50% drop-off is possible, but I think it will avoid that earning just over $11 million over the weekend. That would push its running tally past $55 million, which would be enough to pay for its production budget. By the time its domestic theatrical run is done, it will have paid for most, if not all of its prints and advertising budget.

Now You See Me should round out the top five with $6 million over the weekend and $92 million so far. It will reach the century mark shortly.

Speaking of milestones, Iron Man 3 became the first film released on 2013 to reach the $400 million mark. It did so on Tuesday, the 47th day of release. This is far from the record, but still a milestone worth celebrating.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Man of Steel, Monsters University, World War Z, Iron Man 3, Epic, Now You See Me, This is the End, Superman