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Weekend Predictions: Will the Weekend Race be a Dead Heat?

June 28th, 2013

The final weekend of June has two wide releases that should be in a very close battle at the box office. The Heat and White House Down could finish within $1 million of each other over the weekend. Unfortunately, neither one really has a shot at first place. It looks like Monsters University will have no trouble repeating as champion at the box office. Comparisons to last year are a little complicated. The new releases last year were stronger than the new releases this year; however, this year's holdovers are better. So will 2013 win in the year-over-year comparison? Not sure, but it could be really close.

Monsters University opened a little stronger than expected and thanks to its family friendly target demographic, its strong reviews, and the lack of direct competition, it should remain in first place with relative ease. Expectations range from the low to mid $40 million range. I'm going with $45 million, which is on the high end, but not outside the mainstream. This will push its running tally to $170 million and put it on pace to top $250 million before it is done.

The Heat looks to see if the same people who made Bridesmaids, a major hit, can turn out an action film with a pair of female stars. The two films share a few members of the cast and crew, including Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig, while Sandra Bullock feels like a great fit. I was hoping for great reviews. Unfortunately, the reviews are only good, but not great. In fact, some of the critics who don't like this film really don't like this film. A Tomatometer Score of 67% shouldn't hurt the film's box office chances and it is a great improvement over its score from earlier in the week. The Heat will likely finish in third place on Friday, but thanks to its more balanced target demographic, it should earn second place over the full weekend with $36 million.

White House Down is also buddy action film like The Heat is, but it is male centric, for the most part, and focuses a lot more on the action than the humor. Roland Emmerich is a master of these big load summer action films and he's made several that have topped $100 million in theaters. This film could end up on that list, but I'm not sure. The reviews are mixed and I'm not feeling the buzz. The film is tracking at a similar pace to Olympus Has Fallen, which barely made more than $30 million with weaker competition. We will call $30 million the low end. On on the high end, the film could pull in more than $40 million and compete for first place. I think third place and $35 million is more likely.

World War Z is dealing with direct competition, which will hurt its box office chances over the weekend. Its reviews are not bad, but a drop-off of just over 55% to just under $30 million seems likely. On the other hand, this will push it past $100 million in total, which is helpful for a film that cost nearly $200 million to make. The closer it gets to that higher number, the less the studio will need to rely on international box office and home market sales to break even.

Man of Steel should round out the top five with close to $20 million. Its running tally will be very close to $250 million, which is a little lower than some people anticipated, but still a good result.

One last note, Now You See Me will get to $100 million on Friday becoming the 13th film of the year to get to that milestone so far.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Man of Steel, Monsters University, World War Z, Now You See Me, White House Down, The Heat, Sandra Bullock, Roland Emmerich, Melissa McCarthy, Paul Feig