The end of July saw the release of just one big new studio movie while a number of Sundance indie favorites expanded nationwide looking to get some late summer love. Although it was the only new wide release, Hugh Jackman’s return as The Wolverine didn’t have quite the same impact as its predecessor, bringing in just $21 million on Friday, including $4 million in Thursday previews, and ending the weekend with an estimated $55 million in 3,924 theaters. Averaging $14,000 per site, that debut is $30 million lower than where X-Men Origins: The Wolverine opened roughly three years ago.
While the $55 million is about $10 million less than was expected domestically, The Wolverine did open to $86.1 million internationally, the biggest debut ever for an “X-Men” film. This means the film, which was made for $120 million, has already earned $141.1 million worldwide. The Wolverine received a strong A- CinemaScore from audiences.
The hit horror-thriller The Conjuring (New Line/Warner Bros.), starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, dropped to second place with $22.1 million, down 47% from its opening weekend, having brought in $83.9 million after just ten days.
The hit animated sequel Despicable Me 2 (Universal) crossed the $300 million mark this weekend with another $16 million to take third place. It has grossed $306.3 million domestically since opening over the 4th of July weekend. Worldwide, the film has earned $660.9 million.
The animated racing slug movie Turbo (DreamWorks Animation/Fox) took fourth place with $13.3 million and has grossed $55.8 million to date.
Adam Sandler’s low-brow ensemble comedy Grown Ups 2 (Sony) became his 14th (!) movie to cross the $100 million mark, taking fifth place with $11.5 million and $101.6 million so far.
After its fifth place opening, the Bruce Willis action comedy RED 2 (Summit Entertainment) dropped one notch to sixth with $9.4 million for the weekend, down 48%, with a ten-day take of $35 million.
In seventh place, Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robots epic Pacific Rim brought in $7.5 million and has earned $84 million domestically.
Continuing to hold strong in eighth place, the Bullock-McCarthy action-comedy The Heat (20th Century Fox) grossed $6.8 million this weekend to bring its total to $141.2 million.
It’s probably no surprise that the poorly-reviewed R.I.P.D. (Universal), starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, dropped 54% in its second weekend, taking ninth place with $5.8 million and $24 million total.
Two Sundance Film Festival hits expanded nationwide on Friday with Ryan Coogler’s Jury Prize-winning drama Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company), starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, faring slightly better with $4.7 million in 1,064 theaters to take tenth place.
Meanwhile, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s The Way, Way Back (Fox Searchlight), starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and more, expanded into 886 theaters and made $3.3 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $8.9 million.
The Top 10 grossed roughly $152 million, up 22% from last year where both The Watch and Step Up Revolution tanked as The Dark Knight Rises remained in the #1 spot with $62 million.
Opening moderately in 591 theaters, Maggie Carey’s raunchy sexy comedy The To Do List (CBS Films) earned just $1.5 million in 591 theaters, averaging $2,600 per location. That would generally not be that great if the movie didn’t only cost $1.5 million to make.
Woody Allen’s latest, Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics), starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins, Louis C.K. and more opened big in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles, bringing in $613 thousand or $102 thousand per venue, Allen’s strongest per-theater showing yet and a good benchmark for the movie’s future expansion.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.