Box Office Results: 2 Guns Wins the Shoot-Out with the Sequels


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Any hope that the arrival of August and the last month of the summer movie season would make up for some of the weaker showings over the past few weeks was fleeting as two new movies opened in wide release and both of them underperformed domestically. Although honestly, who can blame American moviegoers for their lethargy when half of the Top 10 is represented by a sequel?

The pairing of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the R-rated crime-comedy 2 Guns (Universal) probably could have opened bigger with a summer release, but after taking in $10 million on Friday–$1.3 million of that from Thursday night previews–the superstar pairing settled in for an estimated opening weekend of $27.4 million, which was enough to win the weekend. Even with the added box office star power of Wahlberg, that was a fairly average opening for Washington, yet it represents his sixth movie in a row to open over $22 million.

After a relatively weak domestic opening, the superhero sequel The Wolverine (20th Century Fox), starring Hugh Jackman, took a typical second weekend plunge of roughly 59% to take second place with $21.7 million and roughly $95 million total.

Opening earlier in the week on Wednesday in 3,866 theaters, The Smurfs 2 (Sony), the sequel to Sony Pictures Animation’s $563 million global hit, brought in just $9.5 million in its first two days before settling down to third place over the weekend with only $18.2 million. The $27.8 million the sequel earned in its first five days is less than the $35 million the original The Smurfs made in its three-day opening two years ago.

It probably goes without saying that The Smurfs 2–like most movies this summer–fared better overseas, where Sony opened it in 43 markets to the tune of $52.5 million, roughly twice its five-day North American take. Some of the big markets where it opened included the UK where it was #1 with $5.1 million, as well as being #1 in Holland, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland, all big markets for the Belgian creator Peyo’s popular characters. It was #2 in France with $4.2 million, but it also scored big in Central and South America as Brazil brought in $4.7 million and Mexico did $4.3 million. The Smurfs also opened significantly better in both Russia and Korea than the original movie, all pointing to the fact that the movie will do just fine without American business. Its $80 million global total after just five days says it all.

James Wan’s horror-thriller The Conjuring (New Line/Warner Bros.)–one of the few movies in the top 10 without a “2” in the title and that isn’t a sequel–continues to do well as it crossed $100 million this weekend with an additional $13.6 million, down just 38% from last weekend. With $108.6 million grossed in just three weeks’ time, the $20 million-budgeted breakout should be making a solid play to end the summer in the Top 10.

Meanwhile, back in the land of sequels, Despicable Me 2 (Universal) took fifth place–its first time out of the Top 3 since opening over the 4th of July weekend–with $10.4 million as it continued to bolster its standing as the second-highest grossing movie of the year with $327 million.

Sony’s other summer sequel, Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2, followed in sixth place with a solid $8.1 million and a total of $116.4 million, putting it into the Top 10 for the summer.

Barely motoring along in seventh place, DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo added another $6.4 million this weekend, but it also dropped 53% from last weekend and is struggling with just $69.5 million grossed so far.

Surprise, surprise, eighth place also went to a sequel, namely Bruce Willis’ RED 2 (Summit Entertainment), which added another $5.6 million to bring its total to a weak $45.1 million after three weeks in theaters.

Already one of the summer’s biggest surprise sleeper hits, The Heat (20th Century Fox), starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, added another $4.7 million over the weekend to take ninth place, bringing its total closer to $149 million, making it the eighth-biggest movie of the summer.

It came out just ahead of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.), which followed its record opening day in China with a weekend take of $4.6 million, having grossed $92.9 million domestically. This past weekend, the movie debuted at #1 there, grossing $45.2 million, Warner Bros.’ biggest opening there and even bigger than The Dark Knight Rises‘ $32 million opening last year. That helped put Pacific Rim just ahead of The Smurfs 2 to win the international box office this weekend and put its global total across the $200 million mark.

The Top 10 movies at the box office grossed an estimated $120 million, which was up slightly from last year’s August kick-off weekend where the Total Recall remake and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days failed to dethrone Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises from its third weekend at #1.

The only significant limited release this weekend was James Ponsoldt’s coming-of-age drama The Spectacular Now (A24), starring Miles Teller (Footloose) and Shailene Woodley (Divergent), which opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles to the tune of $200 thousand, averaging roughly $50 thousand per site. A24 plans on expanding it into more cities later in August.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.