Where was everyone this weekend? Clearly not at the movies. In top spot, “2 Guns” (review here) made $27 million, marking Universal’s sixth box office number one film for the summer, but the weakest #1 opening of the summer so far. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur (who also directed the Mark Wahlberg-starring “Contraband” that opened at $24.3 million last year), the R-rated actioner paired Wahlberg with Denzel Washington. The studio was heading into the weekend expecting an opening in the low $20s, so perhaps thank the core contingent of Denzel and Wahlberg fans for the bump, as the movie marks their fifth and sixth best openings ever, respectively.
That being said, the number suggests the movie won’t crack $100 million domestically. It continues to mark Wahlberg as a somewhat unpredictable box office star. While “Ted” crossed $200 million domestically and $500 million worldwide, this year has seen the actor wobble with much softer figures for both “Broken City” and “Pain & Gain.” As for Denzel, who tends to be a more reliable player—over $120 million for “Safe House” and over $90 million for “Flight” domestically—but it’s doubtful “2 Guns” will come anywhere near those numbers. Chalk it up to soft marketing, a movie that seems like it’s been done a dozen times over, unfamiliarity with the comic it’s based on, or an R-rating keeping out teens with money to burn.
Even with a 59% drop, “The Wolverine” managed to slash its way to second with $21.7 million for the three-day weekend and is nearing the domestic $100 million mark with a running total of $95 million, on track for a $135-145 million total (which would make it the lowest-grossing X-Men movie yet). So expect Fox to keep pushing the hell out of “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” until next summer and don’t count on another standalone “The Wolverine” unless overseas numbers are huge.
In a foreboding third place, “The Smurfs 2” (review here) made $18.2 million for the three-day weekend and $27.7 million for its five-day opening. It’s a big steep fall from its predecessor, “The Smurfs,” which made $35.6 million two years ago on its way to over $140 million domestically and over $560 million worldwide. With its not-so-great domestic figures, Sony will be hoping to capture the hearts and wallets of the international markets, but you can bet the studio is not happy at all. Not only is this a third summer bomb following “After Earth” and “White House Down,” this imperils a franchise. No one makes a sequel to earn less money, and one wonders if there will be a serious retooling of “The Smurfs 3,” which is already slated for a July 2015 release. We wouldn’t be surprised if that film gets moved out of a very competitive summer; it’s likely Sony booked that date expecting “The Smurfs 2” to do smurf-tacular numbers. That being said, the $105 million film is probably already profitable thanks to $150 million in licensing deals with over 100 different companies. Synergy! Here’s hoping next weekend’s “Elysium” gets Sony out of the summer on a high note.
In fourth, “The Conjuring” coughed up $13.7 million, making it the 18th film this year to cross the domestic $100 million mark with a running total of $108.6 million. In fifth, families are still heading in droves to see “Despicable Me 2,” forking over $10.4 million domestically this past weekend and a staggering worldwide total of $713.7 million for its run so far. Shabba-doo, it’s $8.1 million for “Grown Ups 2,” and in seventh, “Turbo” scraped $6.4 million. In eighth and ninth, “Red 2” ($5.7 million) beat “The Heat” ($4.7 million). About to fall of the box office leader board, “Pacific Rim” rustled up $4.6 million domestically, though its international numbers (particularly in China) could pave the way for a sequel.
As for specialty box office, James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now,” a coming-of-age love story starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, topped the indie charts. (Check out our Sundance review here.) Opening in 4 theaters, “The Spectacular Now” made $200,181, averaging $50,925 per theater, just behind similarly themed “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which averaged $57,090 per theater during its debut last year. In a not-so-shabby second, Woody Allen’s uber-successful holdover “Blue Jasmine” expanded to 50 theaters and made $2,022,074, averaging $40,411 per theater. “Blue Jasmine” is on track to be Allen’s biggest box office hit. Comparatively, “Midnight in Paris” averaged $33,268 from 58 screens in its second weekend. Although if these figures were adjusted for inflation, both ‘Jasmine’ and ‘Midnight’ would still pale in comparison to other timeless gems in Allen’s filmography (e.g. “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Hannah and Her Sisters“). That said, both audiences and critics love ‘Jasmine,’ particularly Cate Blanchett’s standout performance, and the film should continue this success with a wider release soon. (Check out our review here.) Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons,” a low-budget reflection on the seedier side of L.A. starring Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, opened at New York’s IFC Center and made $15,200 at that one venue. If you weren’t able to make it to the premiere, never fear. “The Canyons” is currently available on VOD through IFC Films for your perusal. (Check out our review here.)
1. 2 Guns (Universal) – $27,361,000
2. The Wolverine (Fox) – $21,725,000 ($95,039,000)
3. The Smurfs 2 (Sony) – $18,200,000
4. The Conjuring (Warner Bros.) – $13,660,000 ($108,590,000)
5. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) – $10,391,000 ($326,668,000)
6. Grown Ups 2 (Sony) – $8,100,000 ($116,400,000)
7. Turbo (Fox) – $6,400,000 ($69,479,000)
8. Red 2 (Lionsgate) – $5,650,000 ($45,153,000)
9. The Heat (Fox) – $4,725,000 ($149,566,000)
10. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) – $4,570,000 ($92,961,000)