There was a lot of buzz surrounding James Wan's 'The Conjuring' going into this weekend. "Scariest movie of the year." "Best horror movie in a long time." And so on. But it paid off. 'The Conjuring' not only won the box office, it won the box office in a way that R-rated horror movies often don't. Between this and 'The Purge,' R-rated horror is officially back in a big way.
What's more powerful than a bunch of giant robots and giant monsters? What's more powerful than Adam Sandler and all his buddies? This weekend gave us a definitive answer: a lovable supervillain voiced by Steve Carell. 'Despicable Me 2' triumphed at the box office for the second week in a row, beating out newcomers like 'Grown Ups 2' and 'Pacific Rim' and making it look easy.
Which would you expect to win the Fourth of July weekend: the Disney-produced, Johnny Depp-starring revival of an iconic American hero or the sequel to a French-made, Steve Carell-starring animated movie about a lovable supervillain? Well, it looks like American audiences simply aren't interested in westerns, even the uber-expensive ones starring Captain Jack Sparrow with a bird on his head. 'Despicable Me 2' destroyed 'The Lone Ranger' over the holiday weekend. Like, totally wrecked it. Mercilessly.
What happens when two new releases that look like sure-things smash into the unstoppable wall that is a Pixar movie? Well, you get one second place hit and one severe disappointment. 'The Heat' still looks good next to the continued success of 'Monsters University,' but it made 'White House Down' stumbling at the starting line look all the more horrible.
After months of feverish anticipation and a marketing campaign that left everyone at ScreenCrush practically speechless, 'Man of Steel' has arrived (amidst a flurry of mixed reviews) and taken its place at the top of the box office chart. Although the latest Superman film broke June box office records, it's yet to be seen whether or not the film is truly prepared for the long road ahead.
For the second week in a row, a David has taken down a Goliath. Last week, a little magician thriller handily derailed a Will Smith juggernaut and this week, the tiny horror film 'The Purge' took 'The Internship' down a peg or a dozen. We're one month in and this summer movie season has already given us plenty of surprises at the box office.
How rare is it for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not open at number one at the box office? Also, how horrible must it feel for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not only get beaten by the second week of a long running franchise about fast cars, but by a magician thriller headlined by Jesse Eisenberg?
As always, the extended Memorial Day weekend proved to be a busy couple of days at the box office, with 'Fast and Furious 6' shattering every expectation in its first three days of release (as we reported right here). Meanwhile, 'The Hangover Part 3', uh, did not. But this is a four day weekend! How are both films looking to fare when the holidays are over and all of the dust has settled?