2 Guns Debuts on Top, but Falls Short
The final month of summer got off to a modest start last weekend. 2 Guns took first place but fell short of $30 million, while The Smurfs 2 opened way below its predecessor. The Top 12 earned $123.3 million, which is up eight percent from last year, but makes this the quietest weekend yet this summer.
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg seized the number one spot at the North American box office with their new action thriller 2 Guns which opened to $27.1 million. It was an impressive bow given that the film was rated R, not part of a well-known brand and arrived as the 14th action movie of the summer. Audiences have had a plethora of choices in this genre lately and no action movie has over performed since World War Z in mid-June.
For Washington, 2 Guns delivered the fifth best opening of his career and now his top eight debuts are all for R-rated pictures. While he doesn’t do mega-budgeted movies, the Oscar winner has been among the most bankable and reliable box office draws in the film industry over the last decade. In fact over the last thirteen years, 14 of his 15 films have opened above $20 million and none were sequels. When he picks a project to star in, audiences know they will be entertained. This consistency is especially remarkable given that the actor turns 60 next year. Stars of this age rarely keep headlining hits.
The superhero flick The Wolverine dropped down to second place in its second week with $21.3 million falling 59 percent. Hugh Jackman’s latest turn as the clawed mutant collected $95 million in its first 10 days putting it just below the $98 million of X Men: First Class over the same span.
Hollywood’s rocky summer saw another casualty of war open in third place. The kidpic sequel The Smurfs 2 debuted at $175. million over the weekend and $27.1 million since its Wednesday opening. Even the extended five-day launch came in below the three-day opening of the first Smurfs movie which was also in late July with $35.6 million two years ago. Competition was a factor as the leggy Despicable Me 2 was still in eight-digit territory in its fifth weekend while DreamWorks’ Turbo took away a bit of the family audience too. Parents and kids have had more than their fair share of movies this summer and more new choices are not in demand.
The runaway blockbuster The Conjuring smashed the $100 million mark last weekend and continued to hold up well with $13.0 million in its third week. Off 39 percent, the Warner Bros. release has grossed an amazing $108.6 million while costing only $20 million to produce. The supernatural thriller has become that rare summer film that doesn’t need to rely on international success to become a moneymaker. A final gross of $140-$150 million is likely from North America alone for the crowd pleasing haunted house flick.
Despicable Me 2 became the first movie this summer to spend five weekends in the top five as it captured another $10.1 million, declining just 37 percent. The Universal Studios smash’s amazing staying power has resulted in a gold mine for the studio, but competing kidpics over the past month have taken a beating at the multiplexes. The latest Gru pic has amassed a staggering $326.7 million making it the year’s second biggest blockbuster in North America after Iron Man 3.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|3||N/A||The Smurfs 2||$17.5M||$27.1M||1|
|5||3||Despicable Me 2||$10.1M||$326.4M||5|
|6||5||Grown Ups 2||$9.3M||$35.0M||4|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.