Monday July 01, 2013
Weekend Box Office: ‘The Heat’ Hot, ‘White House’ Down
Two people from opposite worlds—one Ivy-League-educated and respected, the other streetwise and impulsive—meet, argue, then come together in order to defeat various enemies intent on killing them. They bond, triumph and wind up working together permanently.
This generic plot synopsis describes two movies that opened this weekend. Both starred a former Oscar winner in the Ivy-League-educated role and an up-and-comer in the scrappy role. The first had a budget of $150 million, the second a budget of $40 million. The first was directed by a man whose movies have grossed $3 billion worldwide, the second by a director whose movies have grossed a tenth of that. The first was an action movie laced with comedy, the second a comedy laced with action. The first starred men, the second women.
And when the weekend was over, the first, “White House Down,” starring Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, opened in fourth place with $25 million; the second, “The Heat,” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, opened in second place with $40 million.
Apparently women can open movies. Not that Hollywood studios will take much notice.
Neither movie is particularly good, by the way. But at least “Heat” is better at what it’s trying to do (make us laugh) than “Down” is at what it’s trying to do (thrill us).
Elsewhere, Pixar’s “Monsters University” dropped 44% but repeated as box-office champ for a second weekend with $46 million. “World War Z” dropped 55% for third place and $29 million. “Man of Steel” added another $20 million for fifth place and a domestic total of $248 million, which is second-best on the year, after “Iron Man 3.”
The weekend numbers.