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Weekend Predictions: Will Pacific Rim Tower over Competition or Will Grown Ups Rise Up?

July 11th, 2013

There are two wide releases coming out this week, Grown Ups 2 and Pacific Rim, and depending on who you talk to, either one has shot at first place. However, most agree that Despicable Me 2 will repeat as the box office champ. There is a chance all three films could top $40 million at the box office, which would be great news in the year-over-year comparison. This weekend last year, Ice Age: Continental Drift opened with $46.63 million. That's a fine start, but I think Despicable Me 2 will top that during its sophomore stint and give 2013 a clear victory over 2012.

Last weekend, Despicable Me 2 crushed expectations earning $83.52 million over the three-day weekend and by Thursday will be at over $180 million. Most analysts think it will pull in between $46 million and $47 million, lifting its running tally to over $230 million after the weekend. This movie is cruising towards $300 million, making it the biggest animated film of the year so far.

Pacific Rim is a giant Mechs vs. Kaiju monster directed by Guillermo Del Toro. That's three things I love combined into one movie. For a long time, this film was seen as the biggest wildcard of the summer. It is a very visually intensive, and therefore big budget, action film that is not an adaptation of a popular toyline, cartoon, comic book, etc. That is not to say it is 100% original. It has influences that include anime series like Robotech, movie franchises like Godzilla, and even the Lovecraft mythos. But this is still a major risk financially. There was some good news as the reviews are strong, on par with most tentpole releases. Hopefully this will translate into ticket sales. I'm predicting second place with $45 million, but I'm a little concerned I'm letting my hopes get in the way of objective analysis. I am certainly more bullish than the average analyst.

Grown Ups came out in 2010 earning simply awful reviews, but still managed to earn $40 million during its opening weekend and it had excellent legs finishing with $160 million overall. It's no wonder a sequel was made. That said, there's little hope Grown Ups 2 will live up to its predecessor. The reviews are even worse this time around and are currently at just 3% positive. Additionally, Adam Sandler is on a bit of a losing streak at the box office. Perhaps it will open faster than the original scoring second place with $42 million to $45 million, but I think it will open a little softer than the original with $37 million.

The Heat should continue its strong run reaching $100 million on Friday, while pulling in $15 million over the weekend. They were already working on a sequel before this film even hit theaters, and these numbers will just accelerate the process.

The Lone Ranger should fall to fifth place with $13 million or so. However, that could be the high end of its ranges. There is a possibility it will fall more than 60% to just over $11 million. If this happens, it will likely fall to sixth place with Monsters University overtaking it.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Lone Ranger, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Pacific Rim, Grown Ups 2, The Heat, Godzilla, Guillermo del Toro, Adam Sandler