Box Office: 'Pacific Rim' Can't Outgun 'Despicable Me 2' & Adam Sandler’s 'Grown Ups 2'

Despicable Me 2For the past few weeks, there has been a lot of hubbub around the Internet about whether Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” could withstand Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2.” Early tracking reports showed del Toro’s monster movie trailing behind Sandler’s comic reunion rehash. In response, critics have been up in arms, worried about the general public’s questionable taste and wondering what this would mean for future of film. If “Grown Ups 2” won and “Pacific Rim” lost, the argument was that this would result in the film industry becoming even more entrenched in sure-fire franchises rather than risking money on larger-scope original concepts. This isn’t a new argument, but this weekend was supposed to act as a key case, seeing whether the tide was turning or cinematic standards would just have to give way. (Here’s our take on the discussion.) Well, we can all rest uneasy as both films were beaten by holdover mega-hit “Despicable Me 2,” with neck-and-neck numbers.

Coming in at number one yet again, “Despicable Me 2” made $44.8 million this weekend, crossing the $200 million mark with a domestic total of $229.2 million. Despite a 46% drop in ticket sales, the Universal cartoon is still on track to reach the worldwide $500 million mark, having made a more-than-grand total of $472.4 million as of this weekend. These figures are even more astounding when you remember that the film was made with a budget of $76 million.

Opening this weekend, “Grown Ups 2” came in a close second with $42.5 million. Critically abhorred, the Dennis Dugan-directed, Adam Sandler-led film shows the gang from 2010’s “Grown Ups” (without Rob Schneider) at it again, moving back to the fellows’ hometown this time instead of going on a lake trip. Check out our review here. With the best per theater average in this weekend’s top ten, we don’t expect to see it leaving the leader board too soon, to our chagrin. The buddy movie should make back its “reasonable” $80 million budget and possibly exceed its predecessor’s total box office of $271 million worldwide. Also, the “Grown Ups 2” opening day marked Sony‘s best since “Skyfall,” a much-needed boon for the studio that brought you summer flops “After Earth” and “White House Down.”

Also opening this weekend, “Pacific Rim” made a disappointing $38.3 million, though performing better than recent Warner Bros. expectations of somewhere in the $25-30 million range. The Guillermo del Toro-directed massive human-monster-robot movie is a futuristic take on staving off a monster-ridden apocalypse by way of epic man-controlled robots. Reading like fanboy catnip, 19% of the film’s ticket sales came from IMAX showings. Check out our review here. Although third domestically, the film did come in second place at the global box office with $91.3 million worth of tickets sold (“Despicable Me 2” topped with $100.5 million, darn minions).

In its third week, “The Heat” is still packing heat at fourth with $14 million, and crossed the domestic $100 million mark with a running total of $112.4 million. In its second week, “The Lone Ranger” fell off of the train and suffered the largest percentage decrease (61.9%) with $11.1 million. It will be lucky to pass the $100 million mark, let alone make back its $250 million budget. In its fourth week, “Monsters University is still getting a passing grade with $10.6 million. Also in its fourth week, “World War Z” is not at the end of the world just yet, making $9.4 million for the weekend. Interesting note, “World War Z” has now passed “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” ($177.1 million vs. $176.8 in domestic totals). In its third week, “White House Down is in a dismal eighth spot with $6.2 million. Only bumped down one notch, “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” is in ninth with $5 million. Rounding out the list, “Man of Steel” is still solid in tenth place with $4.8 million.

As for specialty box office, Sundance hit “Fruitvale Station” led the pack, and is gaining even more critical traction due to yesterday’s George Zimmerman verdict. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, the timely drama starring Michael B. Jordan is based on the true story of a young man who was killed by a BART police officer due to racial profiling. It opened in 7 theaters and made $377,285, averaging $53,898 per theater (one of the 5 best per-theater averages of 2013 so far). In second place, holdover Nat Faxon and Jim Rash‘s “The Way, Way Back” expanded from 19 to 79 theaters and made $1,110,000, averaging $14,051 per theater. Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, Fox Searchlight will be expanding the film to roughly 250-300 total locations next week. Tied for third place are two new films: “Crystal Fairy” and “Dealin’ With Idiots.” Written and directed by Sebastián Silva, “Crystal Fairy” stars Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman as a bumbling young man and an eccentric young woman he picks up on a cactus-laced road trip through Chile. Opening in 2 theaters, it made $24,000, averaging $12,000 per theater. Co-written and directed by Jeff Garlin, “Dealin’ With Idiots” stars Jeff Garlin as a famous comedian who takes on coaching his son’s little league team. Opening in 1 theater, it made $12,000. In fourth place, holdover Jem Cohen‘s “Museum Hours” cut back from 3 to 2 theaters and made $23,336, averaging $11,668 per theater. Close behind in fifth place, Thomas Vinterberg‘s “The Hunt” opened in 4 theaters and made $44,000, averaging $11,000 per theater. The Danish drama is about a small-town teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) accused of sexually assaulting a child; Mikkelsen won Best Actor at last year’s Cannes for the role.

1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) – $44,754,000 ($229,237,000)

2. Grown Ups 2 (Sony) – $42,500,000

3. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) – $38,300,000

4. The Heat (Fox) – $14,000,000

5. The Lone Ranger (Buena Vista) – $11,140,000 ($71,101,000)

6. Monsters University (Buena Vista) – $10,621,000 ($237,760,000)

7. World War Z (Paramount) – $9,430,000 ($177,087,000)

8. White House Down (Sony) – $6,150,000 ($62,963,000)

9. Kevin Hat: Let Me Explain (Lionsgate) – $5,000,000 ($26,378,000)

10. Man Of Steel (Warner Bros.) – $4,825,000 ($280,995,000)