Box Office Results: Now You See Me Surpasses After Earth


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.

Just one month in, this has already been a summer full of surprises at the box office and after a record Memorial Day weekend, things slowed down slightly with two lower-key new releases, one starring one of the biggest box office stars working today, the other with an ensemble cast and an original premise that set it apart from the other summer releases.

Neither of those new movies won the weekend though, as last weekend’s champ Fast & Furious 6 (Universal), starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson, achieved something that’s only been done by few other movies and that’s to retain the top spot after being #1 over Memorial Day. (Other previous movies to do so include one-time opening weekend record holder The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the current Memorial Day weekend record holder.)

It remained on top despite dropping nearly 65% from its chart-topping opening weekend, bringing in $34.5 million over the weekend to take its domestic total to $170.4 million. By comparison, Fast Five had grossed $140 million by the end of its second weekend, although it didn’t have the added bump of a Memorial Day opening.

Internationally, the street racing sequel brought in $75 million in 62 territories to bring its overseas total to $310.2 million which combined with the U.S. brings its worldwide total to $480.6 million after just three weeks.

Going into the weekend, it seemed like the reunion of Will Smith with his son Jaden in the sci-fi action-adventure After Earth (Sony) would take a strong second place, but instead, the lower-key magic-based heist movie Now You See Me (Summit) managed to surpass it both on Friday and for the weekend.

Directed by Louis Letterier (Clash of the Titans) and featuring the ensemble cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, the original concept of a group of magicians who steal from the rich and give to the poor really struck a chord with moviegoers, allowing it to bring in $28 million, beating After Earth‘s $27 million for second place despite opening in 500 fewer theaters. That would also give Now You See Me the biggest opening for a Summit Entertainment release that didn’t have “Twilight” in the title.

It was quite a shocker for those expecting the Will Smith presence to bring in audiences, especially after the huge success of Jaden’s solo outing in The Karate Kid. By comparison (and coincidence), the last time father and son appeared in a movie together was for 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness, which opened in the same range with $26.5 million, but that went on to gross $162 million domestic and $306 million worldwide.

There was a rare tie for fourth place based on estimates with the animated action-adventure Epic (20th Century Fox) and J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness both bringing in an estimated $16.4 million and having to wait until Monday actuals to determine which one will take that slot.

Although there was very little other family-friendly fare in theaters, Epic still dropped 51%, the second smallest drop in the Top 10 after Fox’s other animated movie The Croods. It has grossed $65.1 million since opening before Memorial Day, while Star Trek into Darkness has grossed $181.2 million, pushing it ahead of The Croods as the third-highest grossing movie of 2013.

Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part III (Warner Bros.), reuniting Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong, took a nosedive after its disappointing opening weekend, dropping all the way from 2nd to 6th place with $15.9 million, which is down 62%. It has grossed $88.1 million since opening eleven days ago. Like most movies, it’s faring better overseas where it took in $82 million in 54 markets this weekend to bring its worldwide total to $198 million.

Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr., dropped 59% from its Memorial Day weekend take to seventh place with $8 million for the weekend and $384.8 million since opening roughly one month ago. On top of that, it added another $9.9 million internationally in 55 territories to bring its overseas total to $795.2 million and its global cume to $1.18 billion after roughly a month in theaters.

Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, dropped to eighth place with $6.3 million and $128.3 million total.

For a second weekend in a row, the Top 10 was up from the same weekend last year, in this case up 16% from last year when Snow White and the Huntsman led the box office with $56.2 million.

After a strong platform release a few weeks back, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha expanded into 133 theaters where its $552 thousand weekend take may be enough to help sneak it into the Top 12 just ahead of the baseball biopic 42.

As far as limited releases of note, Sundance regulars Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij (Sound of My Voice) returned with the thriller The East (Fox Searchlight), co-starring Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen Page, which opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles to $75 thousand or $19 thousand per theater. Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ The Kings of Summer (CBS Films), a favorite at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, also opened in four locations to $58 thousand or $14.5 thousand per theater.

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