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AUSTRALIA: 'The Heat' Rules Down Under on July 17, 2013

heat-still.jpgDirector Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy have first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed at the Australian box office. Their 2011 comedy, Bridesmaids, grossed a total of $28.9 million in Australia, constituting 24% of the film's total overseas gross. Even Melissa McCarthy's last picture, Identity Thief, managed to earn 18% of its $40.5 million overseas cume from the territory, making Australia the most profitable overseas market for the Universal comedy.

Feig and McCarthy returned to Australia last weekend with their latest outing, The Heat. The film proved popular enough to lead the weekend box office, coming in first place with a $3.5 million opening weekend that edged out a competitive $3.4 million take from Despicable Me 2's fourth frame. Despicable Me 2 has had a consistent run in Australia, currently posting a $27.1 million and outgrossing the $25.2 million from Fast & Furious 6 as the highest grossing film currently in release.

The Heat wasn't the only Fox comedy playing in Australia. The Internship is trying to rebound from a terrible run in North America by putting its hopes in the hands of the world's most comedy-friendly markets. Australia is a key territory in that equation and has done its fair share of help by giving the struggling comedy a $7 million take over the last five weeks.

Pacific Rim premiered in Australia almost as an afterthought, placing in third behind The Heat and Despicable Me 2. Pacific Rim's $2.7 million opening weekend isn't a major disappointment, however, taking into account the domination of family films and comedies during this time of year in Australia. The packed release calendar is also responsible for a similarly slow start from The Lone Ranger, which has fought for every cent in its $6.5 million Australian run in the last two weeks.

Monsters University brought in $2.5 million to bring its total to $18.8 million in its fourth weekend. World War Z added another million to its Australian cume in the same timeframe, reaching a $15.4 million total. Man of Steel finished its third weekend in Australia with a $1.9 million take to see its cume in the territory reach $19 million.

Top 10 Films in Australia. July 12-41, 2013.

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Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.

NORTH AMERICA: Actual Weekend Grosses For 'Despicable Me 2,' 'Grown Ups 2' and 'Pacific Rim' Come In Lower Than Expected (5th Update) on July 15, 2013

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Monday Update: Weekend actuals:

Despicable Me 2: $43.9 million
Grown Ups 2: $41.5 million
Pacific Rim: $37.3 million

More analysis coming soon... 

Sunday Update: In what turned out to be a fairly close three-way race at the box office this weekend, Universal's Despicable Me 2 was ultimately able to hold off both Sony's Grown Ups 2 and Warner's Pacific Rim to remain in first. The blockbuster computer animated sequel from Illumination Entertainment grossed an estimated $44.75 million for the frame. That represented a very solid 46 percent decline from the film's opening weekend performance last weekend. Despicable Me 2 took in $13.4 million on Friday, increased 30 percent to gross $17.4 million on Saturday and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to take in $13.95 million.

Despicable Me 2 has grossed a massive $229.24 million through twelve days of release. That total is especially impressive when taking into account that the film is far less expensive than most other high profile computer animated films. The film is currently running just 6 percent behind the $244.03 million twelve-day start of 2010's Toy Story 3. Despicable Me 2 is already the sixth highest grossing release of 2013 thus far domestically and will soon overtake Fast & Furious 6, Oz The Great and Powerful and Monsters University to move into third place.

While it couldn't top Despicable Me 2, Grown Ups 2 was able to outpace Pacific Rim this weekend for second. The Adam Sandler led comedy sequel took in an estimated $42.5 million, which was towards the lower end of pre-release expectations. Grown Ups 2 opened 5 percent stronger than the $40.51 million start of 2010's Grown Ups, though as a sequel it is highly likely that Grown Ups 2 will be more front-loaded than Grown Ups going forward. Grown Ups 2 did lead the way on Friday with $16.35 million (which included $2.3 million from late-night Thursday shows that began at 7 p.m.), but fell 10.4 percent on Saturday to land in second with $14.63 million. The film is estimated to fall 21 percent to take in $11.53 million on Sunday.

Grown Ups 2 earned a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, though with that said the film is clearly being received better by audiences than by film critics, which is typically the case when it comes to Adam Sandler films. The audience breakdown for Grown Ups 2 skewed towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and moviegoers under 25 (54 percent).

Pacific Rim had to settle for third place with an estimated $38.3 million. The pricey Guillermo del Toro directed sci-fi action film opened in line with the wide ranging expectations for the film. While it met expectations, the film's start was nonetheless a soft one when taking the film's cost into account. It is well documented that pre-release tracking was soft for Pacific Rim, but mostly positive critical reviews and del Toro's built-in fanbase ultimately helped out the film. Pacific Rim was also helped out by a strong 50 percent of its grosses coming from 3D engagements and from $7.3 million (19 percent) of its grosses coming from IMAX engagements.

Pacific Rim grossed $14.63 million on Friday (which included a strong $3.6 million from late night Thursday shows that began at 7 p.m.), fell 12.5 percent to take in $12.80 million on Saturday and is estimated to fall 15 percent to gross $10.88 million on Sunday. Pacific Rim opened 11 percent stronger than the $34.54 million start of 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army and 25 percent below the $51.05 million debut of last year's Prometheus. As a non-sequel based on an original concept, Pacific Rim is likely to hold up better than both of those films did. The film's A- rating on CinemaScore is also a good sign going forward. The audience breakdown for Pacific Rim skewed towards male moviegoers (61 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (53 percent).

With Grown Ups 2 and Pacific Rim bringing in a combined $80.8 million and last weekend's grosses being inflated a bit by the Independence Day weekend holiday, holdovers in general took noticeable hits this weekend. Fox's The Heat took in an estimated $14.0 million to land in fourth. The R-rated comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy fell 43 percent from last weekend, which actually represented this weekend's best hold among wide releases. The Heat surpassed the $100 million mark on Friday and has now grossed a strong $112.36 million in 17 days. That places The Heat 19 percent ahead of the $94.34 million 17-day take of 2009's The Proposal.

On the heels of last weekend's disappointing start, Disney's The Lone Ranger tumbled 62 percent and three spots to finish in fifth this weekend with an estimated $11.1 million. This weekend's hold was especially disappointing given that the film is skewing quite heavily towards older moviegoers (who typically don't rush out as fast as younger moviegoers). The expensive western starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer has grossed $71.10 million in twelve days, which is below expectations. The Lone Ranger is currently running 7 percent ahead of the $66.22 million twelve-day take of 2009's Public Enemies, though that lead continues to shrink given the poorer holding power of The Lone Ranger.

Fellow Disney release Monsters University followed in sixth with an estimated $10.6 million, while Paramount's World War Z placed in seventh with an estimated $9.4 million. Monsters University fell 46 percent from last weekend and World War Z fell 49 percent. The respective 24-day takes for the pair of June blockbusters stand at $237.76 million for Monsters University and at $177.09 million for World War Z.

On the platform front, The Weinstein Company's Fruitvale Station was off to a strong estimated start of $377,285. The critically acclaimed film and early awards season hopeful averaged $53,898 from 7 locations in New York, Los Angeles and the California Bay Area. Fruitvale Station will expand into additional locations this coming Friday. Going forward, Fruitvale Station will hope to capitalize on the relative lack of dramas to have been released so far this summer.

Fox Searchlight's The Way, Way Back also had a noteworthy performance in platform release this weekend. The ensemble comedy drama took in an estimated $1.11 million from 79 locations, giving it a per-location average of $14,051 for the frame. The Way, Way Back has grossed $1.85 million through ten days of platform release.

A full list of this weekend's official studio estimates can be found here.

Saturday Update: Official Friday estimates put Grown Ups 2 in a close first place finish for the weekend. The flick hauled in an estimated $16.3 million yesterday (also including Thursday's $2.3 million sneaks). That beat the $14.4 million first day take of the first film back in summer 2010, and also marks Adam Sandler's best opening day (topping The Longest Yard's $16.18 million). BoxOffice's official weekend projection is $44.5 million. 

Illumination's Despicable Me 2 continued to rake in business despite the market's new competition. The Universal sequel banked another $13.4 million on Friday, increasing its domestic total to $197.88 million--about 12.8 percent behind Toy Story 3 and 16.1 percent ahead of Monsters University through 10 days of release (those two comparisons opened on Friday as opposed to Wednesday, though). Expect a $44.0 million sophomore frame and close race for first with Grown Ups 2.

Warner Bros. reports that Pacific Rim rang up $14.62 million on Friday, including its $3.6 million Thursday night previews. The overall Friday figure compares favorably against the $13.1 million and $12.1 million (excluding $1 million Thursday night previews) opening days for Cowboys & Aliens and Super 8, respectively, although it trailed Tron: Legacy's opening day by 16.5 percent ($17.51 million). While the film still has several hurdles to climb over in the long run, the good news for Guillermo del Toro's original flick is that word of mouth is healthy so far. BoxOffice projects a $36.5 million debut weekend.

Friday Update #2: Based on early grosses, it looks like Despicable Me 2 will hold on to 1st place this weekend with a sophomore haul north of $45 million. That would put Universal's animated flick at $230 million domestically after only two weekends. 

Pacific Rim is on pace to top Grown Ups 2. Both films are poised to open above $40 million, but Pacific Rim is looking at $43 million-$44 million and Grown Ups 2 is looking at $41 million-$42 million. 

With three films running this close, don't be surprised if the order switches by the time Sunday ends. Official studio estimates and updated projections will be released on Saturday morning. 

Pacific Rim definitely boasts better word of mouth than Grown Ups 2. Fandango users have rated the sci-fi flick as a "Must Go" option, and critics have rewarded Guillermo del Toro's effort with a 72% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Grown Ups 2 is sitting at an 8% approval rating on RT, but it did receive a "Go" rating from Fandango users. Adam Sandler is one of the most critic-proof actors working today, so Sony can just shrug off the negative reviews. If anything, Grown Ups 2 could be hurt by families deciding to check out Despicable Me 2 instead. Sandler's brand of comedy is aimed partially at teens, but it's not safe for young children. 

Friday Update #1: Pacific Rim took in an impressive $3.6 million from Thursday evening shows, $835,000--or 23 percent--of that came from IMAX shows. That's a great start for the Warner Bros. release. The debut matches the $3.6 million that World War Z posted from Thursday previews before snagging an impressive $66.4 million opening. This doesn't guarantee that Pacific Rim will match World War Z's opening weekend, but it certainly does bode well. The tide has turned for the WB release in a big way. 

Grown Ups 2 managed a healthy $2.3 million from Thursday shows. That easily tops the $1 million haul that The Heat managed from Thursday previews. Sony needs Grown Ups 2 to be a hit after suffering two disappointments with After Earth and White House Down

More coming soon...

UPDATED GLOBAL: 'Pacific Rim' Posts $53M Overseas Debut, 'Fast 6' Breaks $700M Global on July 14, 2013

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Monday Update: 

Revised Grosses

- Fast & Furious 6: $468.9M Overseas Total / $705.5M Global Total
- Man of Steel: $337.3M Overseas Total / $618.1M Global Total
- Despicable Me 2: $242.2M Overseas Total / $470.5M Global Total
- The Hangover Part III: $238.8M Overseas Total / $350.4M Global Total
- The Great Gatsby: $186.2M Overseas Total / $329.4M Global Total
- After Earth: $157.5M Overseas Total / $216.8M Global Total
- Epic: $137.2M Overseas Total / $242M Global Total
- Pacific Rim: $53.1M Overseas Total / $90.3M Global Total
- The Internship: $25.6M Overseas Total / $68.8M Global Total
- White House Down: $19.6M Overseas Total / $82.5M Global Total
- The Heat: $16M Overseas Total / $128.3M Global Total
- The Purge: $12.2M Overseas Total / $76M Global Total
- This is the End: $6.1M Overseas Total / $97.7M Global Total
- Grown Ups 2: $1.7M Overseas Total / $43.2M Global Total

Sunday: Giant robots fought giant sea-monsters across movie screens around the world this weekend. Pacific Rim was released in 38 overseas markets, about half of the overseas market, earning a total of $53 million from over 9,800 screens. Guillermo del Toro's high concept tent-pole posted a $91.3 million global tally for its day-and-date opening weekend.  The IMAX numbers for the film came in at $4 million from 124 locations, a $32k per-screen average. 

South Korea came in as the biggest overseas performer for the popcorn flick with $9.6 million. Russia contributed a $9.3 million weekend that scored 177% above the Transformers 2 opening in the country and 208% ahead of the debut of War of the Worlds. Mexico brought in $5.8 million, placing behind the runaway success of Despicable Me 2 for the #2 film in the territory. A tsunami ripped through Taiwan over the weekend but couldn't stop a fantastic $3.5 million performance from the Guillermo del Toro film. Pacific Rim became the biggest opener of the year for Warner Bros. in Thailand, grossing above Man of Steel with a $2.4 million debut.

Pacific Rim took in $3.2 million from 907 screens in the United Kingdom, ranking second in the market behind the premiere of Monsters University. The film struggled against the opening of The Heat and the fourth weekend of Despicable Me 2 in Australia, coming in third place with a $2.6 million opening. The film still has several major territories left, including France on July 17, Germany on July 18, China on July 31, and an August 9 release in Spain, Japan, and Brazil. 

Fast & Furious 6 reached a $704.2 million global cume this weekend, ahead of its July 26 release in China. The film has grossed $467.7 million overseas, including a strong $2.4 million second week hold in Japan that brought its total in the territory to $10.3 million -more than twice the gross of its predecessor in the same timeframe. Fast 6 has already grossed a total of $467.7 million overseas, a marked improvement over the $418.8 million overseas cume of Fast Five

Monsters University could hit the half-billion global mark by August after another strong overseas performance brought in an additional $30.8 million to its overseas total. The Pixar film has grossed a cume of $236.4 million from 45 territories, around 86% of the overseas market. The current global cume is $474.2 million. Monsters U opened this weekend in the United Kingdom to $5.3 million and in France to $3.7 million. Monsters University broke the box office record as the biggest animating opener of all time in Hong Kong and posted the sixth biggest opening weekend ever in the territory. Taiwan is showing similar success, making Monsters University the second biggest animation release of all time in the country with $6.5 million. The top overseas markets for Monsters University are Mexico ($36M), Russia ($20.3M), Australia ($19.2M), Japan ($18.8M), Argentina ($17.5M), Brazil ($15.4M), Spain ($11.5M), Germany ($11.2M). Monsters University opens in Iceland next weekend, Italy on August 21, and China on August 23.

Despicable Me 2 is right on pace with Monsters University. Universal's animated sequel posted another huge weekend overseas, bringing in $55 million from 50 territories. This brings the current overseas cume for the animated sequel to a $243.3 million total, nearly twice the gross of Despicable Me ($129.3 million) in the same timeframe. Universal expects the film to pass the $293 million lifetime gross of Despicable Me this week. Despicable Me 2 currently has a worldwide cume of $472.4 million. The film became Universal's biggest opener in Lithuania this weekend and posted the biggest opening day in Latvia's box office history. Thirteen territories are left for Despicable Me 2 in its overseas run over the next few months. 

Man of Steel is still flying high at the overseas box office. The Superman reboot has now grossed $338.2 million. A $5.6 million opening weekend in Brazil (including previews) propelled the film to the top of the country's box office chart. Man of Steel performed 117% above Iron Man 2, 142% ahead of The Dark Knight, and 178% higher than Transformers 2 in Brazil. The top markets for Superman's latest adventure include China ($62.9M in 4 weeks), the U.K. ($45 million in 5 weeks), Mexico ($21 million in 5 weeks), Australia ($19.3 million in 3 weeks), France ($18 million in 4 weeks), South Korea ($15.2 million in 5 weeks), and Russia ($10.7 million in 4 weeks).

World War Z reached a $246 million total in its fourth weekend of release overseas. The global cume currently stands at $436 million. The film opened in Sweden and Norway this weekend and grossed $914k and $803k, respectively. The Brad Pitt zombie epic reported strong holds from France ($2.8M Weekend / $12.5M Cume), South Korea ($2.4M Weekend / $31.4M Cume), Germany ($1.6M Weekend / $14.7M Cume), Russia ($1.4M Weekend / $23.3M Cume), Mexico ($1.7M Weekend / $19.5M Cume), Brazil ($1.1M Weekend / $12.3M Cume), and Australia ($1.1M Weekend / $15.5M Cume).

The Lone Ranger broke the $100 million mark in its second week of release. The Johnny Depp film has grossed a total of $48 million overseas and $119.1 million worldwide. The film is in release in 33 markets, representing approximately 35% of the market. A disappointing $1.2 million opening in Brazil took its cume in the country to $1.7 million when combined with previews. The top markets for The Lone Ranger are Russia ($12.4M), Australia ($6.7M), Argentina ($3.7M), Italy ($3.6M), and South Korea (2.3M). Many major territories are still left for the adventure film: Japan on August 2, France on August 7, Germany on August 9, the U.K. on August 9, and Spain on August 23. A Chinese release date is in the cards but has not been announced.

The Heat had a great weekend in Australia, becoming the top film in the market with a $3.7 million opening despite strong competition from the Pacific Rim debut and the fourth week of Despicable Me 2. It's another triumph for director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy following the $28.9 million gross of their previous collaboration, Bridesmaids. The Heat has now taken in a total of $16.1 million from 30 markets to reach a $128.4 million cume. Other top earners for the comedy include Russia ($3.8M) and Germany ($2.9M).

The Internship has grossed $25.6 million overseas. The comedy is recovering from a rough reception at the North American box office, where it has only earned $43.2 million. Top markets for The Internship include Australia ($7.1M), U.K. ($3.4M), Spain ($1.6M), and France ($1.5M).

Epic is still a consistent earner. The animated film reached a $137.4 million overseas total this weekend, brining its global cume to $242.2 million. Upcoming releases in Spain and South Korea could help the film reach the $250 million global mark.

Star Trek Into Darkness reached a $222.5 million overseas total in its tenth week in release outside of North America. The sci-fi sequel has now grossed $446.8 million globally.

The Purge is paying off for Universal. The thriller starring Ethan Hawke was reportedly made for $3 million and has already grossed $76.1 million worldwide. The overseas total for the film is $12.3 million from 14 territories.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more on the global box office.

Today's Headlines: Is Kamaal Rashid Khan's Behavior Putting His Career at Risk? on July 13, 2013

The Indian film industry wants Kamaal Rashid Khan banned for consistently inappropriate behavior, The Times of India reports. 

OneIndia Entertainment reports that Lootera did better than expected in theaters grossing 18.50 crores (3.9 million dollars) and is expected to continue its growth over the next week. 

Both Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Pacific Rim are being released in the India box office today and are both competing for a larger audience NDTV Movies reports.


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