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BOX OFFICE REPORT (JUNE 21-23): 'Monsters University' and 'World War Z' Scare Up a Huge Weekend for Pixar and Brad Pitt

Even though monsters and zombies dominated the box office this past weekend, the results were anything but frightening. Pixar found its groove again, with Monsters University's $82 million opening standing as the studio's second-best opening weekend. The prequel brought in roughly $20 million more than 2001's Monsters, Inc. and trails only Toy Story 3's $110.31 million.

Brad Pitt has been a movie star for a long time, but World War Z's huge opening weekend may have finally made the actor a Movie Star. Prior to World War Z, Pitt's biggest opener was the $50.34 million that Mr. and Mrs. Smith delivered during its opening weekend in 2005.

As this past weekend approached, there was buzz that Monsters University, World War Z and Man of Steel could become the first trio of films to each bring in $50 million or more during the same weekend. The common thought was that if one of those three failed to reach $50 million, it was going to be the zombie flick. World War Z trumping Man of Steel by $15 million was something box office analysts didn't see coming.

1. Monsters University (N)
$82.00 million ($82.00 million)
After Toy Story 3 broke records with its $110.31 million opening weekend in 2010, the next two Pixar films failed to keep the studio's momentum going, both critically and in terms of box office numbers. While Monsters University can't count itself in the same league as the Toy Story trilogy or Up, it's a huge improvement over Cars 2 and Brave, something that moviegoers responded to this weekend. I thought Monsters University was a very funny movie, with all of its laughs coming from genuine humor, not instantly outdated pop culture references. You know exactly what I'm talking about here, right, DreamWorks Animation?

2. World War Z (N)
$66.00 million ($66.00 million)
OK, let's talk about what everyone is wondering — what are they going to call the World War Z sequel? World War Z 2? WWZ2? World War Z: Insert Subtitle Here? I'd put my money on that last idea. A number is too clunky based on that title. Seriously though, Pitt's Plan B Entertainment was behind the movie, with the company outbidding Leonardo DiCaprio's production company for rights to Max Brooks' book. Studio execs have to be thrilled that World War Z didn't crash and burn, instead turning in a huge box office performance. Sequel talks should start very soon, if they haven't already.

3. Man of Steel (1)
$41.22 million ($210.01 million)
It only took two weekends for Man of Steel to become the highest grossing Superman movie domestically, topping Superman Returns' $200.08 million lifetime haul. The movie did take a pretty steep fall from its opening weekend, but when you bring in over $100 million during Weekend 1, it's hard to keep match that big of a number the following weekend.

4. This Is the End (2)
$13.00 million ($57.79 million)
This Is the End has now brought in almost double its budget, making it a crazy success.

5. Now You See Me (3)
$7.87 million ($94.45 million)
I thought that Now You Could See Me would cross the $100 million mark after this weekend, but it looks like the magician movie will have to wait another week.

Next week's predictions:
1. Monsters University
2. White House Down
3. World War Z
4. The Heat
5. Man of Steel

SOURCE: Box Office Mojo
BOX OFFICE REPORT (JUNE 21-23): 'Monsters University' and 'World War Z' Scare Up a Huge Weekend for Pixar and Brad Pitt Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 6/23/2013 Rating: 5

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