Weekend Box Office: DESPICABLE ME 2 Remains on Top; GROWN UPS 2 Beats PACIFIC RIM

     July 14, 2013



This morning’s box office has a ‘good news, bad news’ kind of vibe. On the one hand, overall earnings were up significantly over 2012 thanks to the two sequels at the top of chart. The not-so-good news was for fans of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. With an estimated $38.3 million from 3,275 runs, the original action pic came in third behind Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Despicable Me 2 $44,754,000 $229.2
2.  Grown Ups 2 $42,500,000 $42.5
3.  Pacific Rim $38,300,000 $38.3
4.  The Heat $14,000,000 $112.3
5.  The Lone Ranger $11,140,000 $71.1
6.  Monsters University $10,621,000 $237.7
7.  World War Z $9,430,000 $177
8.  White House Down $6,150,000 $62.9
9.  Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain $5,000,000 $26.3
10.  Man of Steel $4,825,000 $280.9

pacific-rim-posterWhile the summer of 2013 has continued to set records and surpass expectations, it’s been hit or miss for the season’s original films. Among non-franchise offerings, Gatsby, World War Z and The Heat have excelled while White House Down, The Lone Ranger and After Earth have struggled. After only three day in theatres, it is way too early to add Pacific Rim to that list of misses; but there is no doubt that del Toro’s fans were hoping for a stronger showing.

For a film with so  many obvious inspirations (Godzilla, Transformers, mecha-anime), Pacific Rim has surprisingly few appropriate comps to judge this morning’s box office by. Pacific Rim’s estimate is just over half what the first Transformers earned  in July of 2007. It also fell below Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla, which debuted to $44 million (not adjusted for inflation) in the summer of 1998. In both cases, however, the comparison is lacking: both Transformers and Godzilla were recognizable brands prior to their debut – and neither faced serious competition at the time of their premiers. Pacific Rim, on the other hand, was always a box office wild card; an ‘original’ property entering a market saturated by big-budget summer action.

Aside from its genre, picking a Pacific Rim comp based on release date or opening gross proves equally frustrating. On this weekend in 2010, Warner Bros.’ Inception opened with $62.7 million. Once again, Pacific Rim pales in comparison but, two years after the record-breaking success of director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Inception had a distinct advantage. In June 2011 JJ AbramsSuper 8 earned $35.4 million, or just under today’s Pacific Rim estimate. Opening totals aside, the two films have little else in common, including the fact that Super 8 cost one fourth Pacific Rim’s reported $200 million budget. What was a solid opening for one still looks like a disappointment for the other.

Naturally, any talk of disappointment has to include a big asterisk for international sales. Pacific Rim opened in 38 territories this weekend, and should ultimately see at least 60% of its worldwide gross from these markets. The film received strong reviews (72% on Rotten Tomatoes) so, provided international audiences haven’t maxed out on American action, Pacific Rim still has a good chance to redeem itself.

grown-ups-2-posterFor Grown Ups 2, international prospects are of much less consequence – which is why everyone involved with the sequel are feeling especially pleased with this morning’s US estimate. From 3,491 locations, Grown Ups 2 earned an estimated $42.5 million – topping the $40.5 million of 2010’s Grown Ups. Considering the original went on to earn $162 million in the US (the second highest total of Adam Sandler’s career) and $271 million worldwide, today’s results are very promising.

That’s especially true considering the film’s abysmal Rotten Tomatoes rating of 7% (Grown Ups scored 10%) and the fact that Sandler’s last two live-action features were bombs: Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy. It’s hard to believe that Grown Ups 2 will keep pace with its predecessor in the weeks to come but, at this point, anything is possible.

For a time on Friday, it looked like Grown Ups 2 might even take top honors away from Despicable Me 2, last week’s big winner. But, by this morning, the animated sequel showed a clear advantage, down just 46% to hold on to the top spot for a second weekend in a row. Despicable Me 2 also crossed the $200 million mark on Saturday, its eleventh day in theatres, which brought the film’s worldwide total up to $472 million on Sunday.

Just as Despicable Me 2 continues to soar, The Lone Ranger continues to plummet. After a disastrous Independence Day launch, the big budget western fell by more than 61% in its sophomore frame. The film has yet to launch in many major overseas markets but, after twelve days in theatres, The Lone Ranger has earned just $119 million – worldwide.

If you were worried that The Lone Ranger’s failure would leave our formerly overstuffed summer box office a bit depleted – not to worry! In the next week another four new titles will enter wide release, starting with DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo on Wednesday. R.I.P.D, The Conjuring and Red 2 all follow on Friday, though the prospects for each are less than overwhelming. This traffic jam of mediocrity could give a holdover like Pacific Rim a chance to stretch its legs a bit… but who am I kidding?


  • TJ

    Pacific Rim looked bad from the get go. No surprise here…

    • The Hobbit

      The Funny Part its a Good Movie…

    • RiddleThemThis

      The trailers looked pretty dreadful to me, but it was better than what I was expecting. I only went because a bunch of friends dragged me along. There were some pretty hilarious moments in the film, most of the time it was because of the cheesy dialogue. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable film and worth a watch, I can’t imagine a sequel being any good though.

  • Christian09

    Yeah Pacific Rim had bomb all over it. Too bad, because it was a good movie.

    • varagor

      Why a bomb? It won’t be the highest grossing movie of the summer, but the international gross is going to be more than enough to at least break even.

      • MrBurrrns

        Breaking even is not what you shoot for with a summer blockbuster.

      • Johnny Bubonic

        $91 million cumulative box office at the moment. Pacific Rim will make money.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    This why we can’t have nice things.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    This why we can’t have nice things.

    • Strong Enough


    • Strong Enough


  • Francis

    Do you need more proof Guillermo del Toro is box office poison, at least in the director role? Here he got the keys of the kingdom: a stratospheric budget, a solid script, a genre in which is confortable, a bunch of cameos from his friends. Everything he wanted to make his “vision” real. And the best he can achieve is a f*cking third place at the box office? This man is a jinx or a talentless hack, no doubt about it. If his name was M. Night Shyamaln, critics already have crucified on the Internet.

    • get a grip

      It’s not his fault people arnt turning out for this movie… Did you ever think that possibly the marketing sucked? You know they are saying that this is a solid summer movie. I doubt people are saying who the hell is Guillermo. What a weird name, lets not see this movie…

      • TurnerTC

        I would say the marketing sucked. I grew up on Godzilla and other giant monster movies, but the trailers/commercials for this movie left me with a shrug. I get it, giant robots battle giant monsters and…. that’s about it. Now mind you, the action scenes were terrific – esp. in IMAX 3D. But the in-between scenes with the characters were only passable. The hero should have been called “generic protagonist 01.” I’d still recommend the movie to those that love these types of flicks, but it was “one and done” for me.

    • axalon

      Dude…this is one of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever read on here. Do you have any idea what it takes to make a movie, especially one like this? And you call this guy a hack?

      Get over yourself.

    • Khan

      Scum like you are the poison of this country, no wonder they mock it Worlwide, the hability to type does not guarentee intelligence.

      I’ll see Pacific Rim again today.

      • Mario


      • Christopher

        “Scum like you?” Yeah, the guy was being a bit obnoxious, but calling him “scum” for slamming a film director online is a bit extreme.

    • Alberto Cox Délano

      Katherine Hepburn was once called “Box Office Poison”, so there’s that.

  • cetrata

    Humanity swimming towards destruction.

    • cetrata

      I mean, audiences are scared to try new things but would rather go see crappier sequels to crappy films?

      • RiddleThemThis

        Yeah, Despicable Me 1 was horrible. I don’t even know why people bothered with 2.

      • cetrata

        Im not talking about all sequels. I liked both despicable mes but I was talking about Grown Ups.

      • Clay

        Actually, I think Despicable Me is pretty fantastic. Yeah, it was a part of the whole anti-hero angle of animated films that year, but it has a certain edge to it that when coupled with its charm and stellar voice cast, turned out to be a pretty good time at the movies. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 81%, so I guess you’re in the minority on this one.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    I haven’t been this disappointed since Cloud Atlas bombed
    I thought the fact that the Lone Ranger and White House Down bombed meant that the audience would be more hungry for an action movie

    Long hopeless sigh

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    Pacific rim international prospect is also grim
    Even though Australia has a major role in the movie , pacific rim opened #4 in Australia on an holiday weekend . Yep, it bombed in Australia too… Hope Japan and china save the movie

    • 007

      It earned $ 53m Overseas and havent opened in Most Countries…Australia is Under performing But Asia ,Russia Etc are Contributing Good Nos…Asia Mostly is Huge..

    • zac

      Australia is underperfoming coz of the godawful representation of the country and those so called “australians” they were so bad and so cliched. it makes australians cringe to the core and thats why we don’t watch it

  • Travis Gowen

    Pacific Rim…yeah that must be pretty embarrassing.

    Adam Sandler is never going to quit making movies knowing he can take down a del Toro film heads up.

    • RiddleThemThis

      Why would he stop making movies? He satisfies his target audience and makes a lot of money off each film he does. The majority of his films well surpass their budget at the box office, and people keep going back for more so obviously he is doing something right. It just happens that the people who are critics, have high regard for critics or visit movie sites like this often do not fall into the demographic that Sandler is targeting.

  • Travis Gowen

    Pacific Rim…yeah that must be pretty embarrassing.

    Adam Sandler is never going to quit making movies knowing he can take down a del Toro film heads up.

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  • Btbcc12859

    Despicable Me , I get, but Grown Ups 2. The first one sucked not sure what happened. Grown ups had less marketing that Pacific, I smell some funny business going on

  • bidi

    this is disappointing. i mean, Pac Rim wasn’t mind blowing or anything. just a solid summer blockbuster that i would certainly see again and again. but it’s one of those things where you HAVE to see it on the big screen. i can’t wrap my brain around how someone would rather go see Grown Ups 2 than Pacific Rim on a big screen. and i don’t think del Toro is a hack or even box office poison. he just always associates himself with more obscure projects. he’s an auteur who can put his personal stamp on anything. if he were to direct a big Marvel movie or something, then audiences would flock, and he could build up name recognition beyond just the movie geeks like us. but there in lies the rub, because that just proves the greater movie going public sways more towards sequels and adaptations and established franchises. like Cloud Atlas, i was hoping Pacific Rim would show that we’re willing to accept more original, novel movies. but i guess unless your name is Christopher Nolan, most people don’t give a shit

    • Chris Parker

      I think some fans need to step outside of their bubble and look at the big picture. Go ask any layman on the street who del Toro is and they wouldn’t have a clue. Facts are facts are facts – giant robots fighting giant monsters is a VERY niche market, no matter how much you’d like to think it isn’t. Not to mention ZERO recognizable marquee names and the studio virtually guaranteed itself to make a loss on this one.


    pacific rim was awesome!

  • Saltonstall

    Pacific Rim wasn’t astonishing or anything, but it was a summer blockbuster that never insulted the intelligence of its audience, and it never pandered to the lowest common denominator the way a movie like Grown Ups 2 does. In this day and age, you can’t really ask for more than that. I can understand Despicable Me 2 winning the weekend, but Pacific Rim should have been a strong second. For all of you who got to the ticket counter, and picked the safe idiotic Adam Sandler movie over the potentially exciting original idea, DON’T GO TO THE MOVIES ANYMORE. You are the reason why so many summer movies suck.

    • Ozweego

      Doubt many of those movie attendees you speak of actually frequent Collider, so your warning has fallen on deaf ears.

      • Saltonstall

        Probably, but I had to get that off my chest. The stupidity of the large majority of the population is basically everything that’s wrong with America.

      • Khan


  • Ozweego

    I posted the following in the initial article about Fridays numbers and after heading to the theatre for a Sunday Matinee, I stand by it.

    Original Post*** This isn’t that surprising. Family films will always do better then Sci Fy films that are directly aimed at the teenage/twenty something demographic. Just think about it. A family of 5 buys tickets to watch Adam Sandler get pissed on while a single dude who ventured from his mothers basement for the first time in weeks buys a ticket to Pacific Rim. Can’t compete with that.****

    Before heading into Pac RIm today I noticed Grown Ups 2 had started 30 mins earlier so I poked my head into the theatre. Full. Families, couples, packs of girls and guys. All sitting there laughing their asses off at piss, fart, and fatty fall down jokes. I then went to my theatre to watch Pac Rim. In a theatre that probably holds 250, maybe 50 of us there.

  • Hunter

    …yeah something about the 2nd and 3rd place box office spots portray a tiny indicator about whats wrong with this country

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  • Colin Christian

    Most of the country believes in a talking snake.Fart jokes and mall cops are just another step into stupidity.

  • Django9000

    Pacific Rim is such a high water mark for inspired imaginative storytelling. I will absolutely see it again, probably twice in different formats while its still in theatres – and about 3/4′s way thru the movie, one particular sequence completely convinced me I’d have to own a copy when it’s released on blu ray.

    It is a shame , in the sense that Execs will mis-read this as a thumbs down on original, imaginative non-franchise or property driven blockbusters. But it is, admittedly also a shame that simply plopping a Brad Pitt or a Matt Damon in the lead role, as opposed to the only recognizable from TV Charlie Hunnam prob would’ve been all audiences needed to put their asses in seats.

    Maybe the silver lining will be someone finally convincing Del Toro to give it a shot at an existing property. If anything, Pacific Rim proves above all else that he’s without a doubt got the best toys, in the best sandbox, in the best playground of an imagination on Earth !

  • stylus59

    watched it in IMAX. there were 2 screenings that were sold out so i bought tickets for the 3rd screening and waited more than 6 hours for it. can’t believe it bombed. i’m sure it is a different case in the international markets

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Ok, here something to think home about:

    Titanic, back in its day, it made its huge gross, weekend by weekend, grossing continuously figures between 35 to 50 million (adjusted to inflation). Remember that it opened with what today would have been 41 million. Of course, in the late December/early January slate, there wasn’t much to compete with, but in this day an age, why is Hollywood so fixated in making a splash during the opening weekend, instead of focusing on persistent mid-range grosses through a number of weekends? It worked pretty well for ‘Now You See Me’, or even ‘Inception’ for that matter. Let’s put aside quality for a second, just focus on maximizing the box office potential, are they doing enough? And clearly, the business analyst have focused only on that aspect.

    Of course, the answer clearly is related to the huge cut the distributors and studios get during the first two or three weeks. But that business approach also generates a vicious incentive on the long run. The evidence is there in the pudding. It’s not only front-loading the summer and lack of creativity, it’s also ambition without patience and sense.
    In the meanwhile, let us all go see Pacific Rim. Because it might not be as different as other tentpoles, but those differences alone are a rare value.

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  • Hop

    Can we all band together to boycott Adam Sandler?