Follow Us on Twitter

Monsters University and World War Z open strong in US

Monsters University

Story by Jack Foley

MONSTERS University and World War Z have led a bumper weekend at the US box office, taking first and second spots respectively with a combined $148 million between them.

Pixar’s follow up to Monsters Inc led the way with $82 million, while Brad Pitt’s zombie thriller took a highly respectable $66 million.

Combined, the two films helped drive one of the best weekends in history in terms of box office revenue.

Monsters University‘s success represents the No. 2 Pixar opening of all time after Toy Story 3 ($110 million).

Welcoming those figures, Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis said: “The consistency of the quality that comes from Pixar and John Lasseter and his team is extraordinary. This movie had to live up to a very high bar and it did.”

World War Z also over-performed to enjoy the top launch for an original live-action blockbuster since Avatar. It also marks Pitt’s largest opening in the US, easily outpacing the $50.3 million launch of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in the summer of 2005.

What’s more, the international performance of World War Z, which includes UK figures, saw the film rocket to a worldwide total of $111.8 million, suggesting the film may yet recoup its huge outlay (it is the most expensive horror film in history) and perhaps even spawn sequels – as leading man Pitt hopes it will. Find out more

Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore was moved to comment: “This was an original movie in a summer that’s been full of sequels and remakes. I think it captured the public’s imagination. Certainly, Brad gave a superb performance.”

The distributor will now hope that the film can emulate the success of other original summer blockbuster titles such as Avatar and Inception and keep getting stronger based on word of mouth.

Man of Steel came third, grossing $41.2 million in its second weekend but dropping off more than some pundits had predicted in its second weekend (by 65%). Going into the weekend, the Zack Snyder Superman reboot had been expected to give World War Z a closer fight for second spot.

That said, Man of Steel‘s US total now stands at a whopping $210 million after just two weeks.

Also going strong was Seth Rogen comedy This Is The End, which fell just 37% in its second weekend, grossing $13 million for a domestic total of $57.8 million. The R-rated comedy opens in UK cinemas next weekend.

Rounding out the top five, meanwhile, was magician heist movie Now You See Me which took $7.9 million in its fourth weekend for a US total of $94.5 million. The film has proved something of a sleeper hit in the US.

All told, the US box office revenue for the weekend reached an estimated $236 million, the second best of the year after Memorial Day and among the top 10 weekends of all time.

Next story: Arnold Schwarzenegger to battle zombies in Maggie