New Trailer: 'Gravity' on July 24, 2013

UPDATED GLOBAL: 'Pacific Rim' Topples the Minions on July 21, 2013


TUESDAY: Late numbers confirmed that Pacific Rim was the top film of the weekend around the world, toppling the two week reign of Despicable Me 2 atop the global box office. 

Universal adjusted the actual overseas gross of Despicable Me 2 down to $34.9 million, giving an edge to Pacific Rim's higher-than-expected $35.3 million adjusted estimate, according to a sources at Warner Bros. 

The adjusted global total for Despicable Me 2 stands at $584.3 million. Pacific Rim still has ground to make up in order to reach similar heights; the Guillermo del Toro tentpole has grossed $181.2 million worldwide.

SUNDAY: Despicable Me 2 is the top film in the world for the third consecutive week. The animated film overtook its predecessor's $293 million overseas cume and hit a $308.4 million overseas total after taking in $35.4 million from 50 territories over the weekend. Despicable Me 2 has grossed $584.6 million globally.

The minions are set to become the second Universal release to break the $100 million mark in Latin America, following the first-time feat accomplished by Fast 6 in the region earlier this month. Brazil posted the strongest hold ($4.5M Weekend / $27.5M Cume), passing Fast 6 to become Universal's top release of all time in the country. Other top holds include Mexico ($3.7M Weekend / $38.9M Cume), Germany ($3M Weekend / $18.3M Cume), the U.K. and Ireland ($2.7M Weekend / $45.6M Cume), and France ($2.3M Weekend / $23.5M Cume). 

Monsters University broke the half-billion global mark on July 17, setting the stage for a weekend that only included one new opening. The film becomes Pixar's seventh consecutive title to surpass the $500 million mark. The Pixar prequel has held on well around the world and contributed another $20.7 million from the overseas marketplace this weekend to reach a $283.9 million overseas tally and a $532.9 million cume. The top overseas earners for Monsters U include Mexico ($37.4M), Japan ($34.4M), Australia ($21.2M), Argentina ($21.1M), Russia ($20.6M), Brazil ($16.1M), the U.K. ($13M), Spain ($12.6M), and Germany ($11.8M).

Two Fox releases round out the weekend's animated films. Turbo opened in 28 markets to $22.6 million overseas, taking its opening weekend to a $53.8 million global total. Russia led the charge with a fantastic $8.4 million opening weekend, followed by strong performances from Mexico ($3.4M), Brazil ($1.8M), and Argentina ($1.3M). Several major markets are still to come for Turbo. Epic is closing out its overseas run as it looks forward to its last two top markets: South Korea (August 7) and Spain (August 30). Epic has earned $139 million in its overseas run and posts a $244.4 million global total. 

Pacific Rim reached a $110.3 million overseas cume from 48 territories to propel its global total to $178.5 million. North American audiences haven't responded to Guillermo del Toro's popcorn flick in the same way that overseas viewers have embraced the film. Pacific Rim reached a $16.5 million cume in Russia after a strong $3.9 million take from its second weekend. The film opened at #1 in France with $3.8 million from 641 screens, including previews. South Korea posted another strong weekend, adding $3.5 million to take its total to $15.6 million despite falling behind the opening weekend of Mr. Go, a film about a baseball-playing gorilla.

Man of Steel reached the $350 million overseas mark after earning $6 million from 60 markets. Fans are already looking forward to the upcoming Superman sequel featuring Batman, a project that practically has money dripping off of it. The only way to raise the expectations on the upcoming Superman/Batman film directed by Zack Snyder and Executive Produced by Christopher Nolan is if Warner Bros. could somehow tie-in Harry Potter as the villain. Top markets for Man of Steel include China ($63M), the U.K. ($46m), Mexico ($21.1M), Australia ($21M), France ($18.8M), South Korea ($15.2M), and Russia ($10.7M).

World War Z is holding strong overseas. The Brad Pitt zombie passion project reached a $456.4 million global total this weekend. $269.5 million of that figure comes from overseas, where World War Z is still eyeing openings in Spain and Japan. The film posted strong holds in France ($1.9M Weekend / $15.6M Cume), South Korea ($900k Weekend / $33.1M Cume), Mexico ($880k Weekend / $21.7M Cume), Germany ($800k Weekend / $16.1M Cume), and Brazil ($620k Weekend / $13.8M Cume).

The Lone Ranger had a $3.6 million opening in Mexico this weekend as the film prepares a wider overseas roll-out over the next couple of weeks. The Disney film has struggled outside of North America, only posting a successful run in Russia ($14.7M) en route to an underwhelming $66.4 million overseas cume. The numbers in North America are just as poor, where The Lone Ranger has failed to reach the $100 million mark after its July 4 weekend debut. Several top territories are still on deck for the wannabe franchise, including Japan (August 2), France (August 7), Germany (August 8), the U.K. (August 9), and Spain (August 23). A Chinese release date has yet to be confirmed.

R.I.P.D. was D.O.A. at the North American box office, where the high-concept tent-pole only managed to earn $12.8 million while walking away with a C+ CinemaScore. Audiences in Russia didn't seem to mind much, giving the film the top spot at the box office with a $6.4 million weekend that accounts for the lion's share of its $6.8 million overseas cume from ten territories. Universal is quoting a $130 million production budget for R.I.P.D., making the film the leading contender for 2013's biggest global box office flop.  

Fast & Furious 6 is gearing up for its Chinese release on Friday. The action flick is the second biggest hit of the year, trailing the blockbuster success of Iron Man 3. Fast 6 is currently posting a $475.4 million overseas cume and a worldwide total of $712.5 million. A good run in China can easily lift the film past the $500 million overseas benchmark. 

The Heat is still hot in Australia. The comedy reached a $7.5 million cume in its second weekend in Australia, taking its overseas total to $24.1 million from 29 markets. Other top markets for The Heat include Russia ($4.7M) and Germany ($3.6M). Expect the film to pick up more steam after its U.K. release on July 31. 

Star Trek Into Darkness is finishing out its overseas run with only three territories left to release in August. Argentina and Chile will see an August 15 release and the film is slated to open in japan on August 23. The sci-fi sequel has grossed $223.5 million outside of North America over 11 weekends, bringing its global total to $448.6 million.

The Conjuring brought in an impressive $3.4 million from three markets. Spain was the top territory, bringing in $1.7 million from 300 screens. Australia followed by packing theaters with $1.5 million from only 134 locations, posting the highest per-screen average in the market. New Zealand rounded out the rest of the release with $200k. Upcoming top territories for the horror film include Russia (July 25), Germany (August 1), the U.K. (August 2), and France and Italy (August 21).

The Purge continues its slow overseas roll-out. The film has grossed $13.4 million from a dozen territories and still has 26 more countries to open. The global total for the low-budget thriller is $77.5 million.

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

Universal Hits $1 Billion Domestically In Record Time With 8 Films Still Set For Release In 2013 on July 21, 2013


Universal has plenty of reasons to celebrate even though R.I.P.D. landed with a thud this weekend. The studio announced today that it has "set a new record for its fastest climb to $1 billion at the North American box office." 2013 marks the 8th time that Universal has reached the coveted plateau.

2013 highlights, as reported by Universal:

· Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 is the third highest grossing film of 2013 domestically and the highest grossing animated film of 2013. The film scored the biggest five day opening for an animated film in North American history.

· Fast & Furious 6 set a new record as Universal's biggest domestic opening of all time with $117 million over four days. With a worldwide cumulative gross of $712.5 million, Fast & Furious has become Universal's highest grossing franchise ever.

· The Purge, Universal's first microbudget film with Jason Blum under the studio's production deal with his Blumhouse Productions banner, made $34.1 million its opening weekend - more than 10 times its production budget and has gone on to gross more than $64.1 million domestically and $77.5 million worldwide with several overseas markets yet to open.

· Tom Cruise's Oblivion marked his second highest opening in his film career outside of the Mission: Impossible franchise ($37.1 million) and has grossed a solid $89.1 million domestically and $286.1 million worldwide.

· Identity Thief scored one of the top five openings of all time for an original R-rated comedy ($34.6 million) and has grossed $134.5 million domestically and $175.1 million worldwide.

· The low-budget supernatural thriller Mama grossed $71.6 million at the North American box office and marked the second year in a row that Universal has been on No. 1 on MLK weekend. Mama has grossed $147.7 million worldwide.

There is still much to look forward to in 2013 including 2 Guns, the explosive action film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg; the new chapter of the action-comedy Kick-Ass 2 from director Jeff Wadlow; Riddick, the latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga from star/producer Vin Diesel and writer/director David Twohy; Rush, the spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970's rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda from director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan; a romantic comedy from Working Title and writer/director Richard Curtis, About Time; the long-awaited next chapter to the film that ushered in a new era of comedy from writer, director and producer Malcolm D. Lee, The Best Man Holiday; the epic 3D feature starring Keanu Reeves in his explosive return to the action-adventure genre, 47 Ronin; and in limited release, the latest from director Peter Berg, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana.

ANALYSIS: How Big Will The Superman/Batman Movie Be? on July 20, 2013


By Phil Contrino

Fanboys rejoice! Warner Bros. officially announced at ComicCon that 2015 will bring the union of Superman and Batman in a new film directed by Man of Steel-helmer Zack Snyder. A Flash Gordon film is tentatively set for 2016 with a Justice League movie to follow in 2017.

WB's decision to work its way to a Justice League movie is a no-brainer after the massive success of Disney's The Avengers, a $1.5 billion worldwide hit that helped the superhero genre reach a new high at the box office. Will WB be able to beat Disney at the superhero game by leading either its Superman/Batman project or the Justice League project to a higher worldwide haul than The Avengers

First, they'll have to compete with The Avengers 2, which is already slated to open on May 1, 2015. WB will have to be careful to avoid a direct confrontation or else there's a risk of moviegoers experiencing superhero fatigue. (Some would argue this risk is already a reality with the continued reliance of studios on superhero tentpoles.) As if the Avengers 2 challenge wasn't enough, picking a release date will also prove difficult because 2015's slate is already full of very strong tentpole films such as a new Pirates of the Caribbean film, the next James Bond flick, the finale of the Hunger Games franchise and the sequel to Finding Nemo, just to name a few. Most importantly, Disney is still planning to release the new Star Wars movie at some point in 2015. It's worth noting that July 17, 2015 is currently open. WB released The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012, so that release date could be very enticing. 

The casting of Batman will definitely have a major impact on the box office performance of these films. Moviegoers embraced Christian Bale in the role in a major way. If Bale decides not to return--and he's made that clear more than once--then many fans could be disappointed. The alternative--hinted at in a not-so-subtle way in The Dark Knight Rises--would be to have Joseph Gordon-Levitt take on the role. JGL playing the role wouldn't be the end of the world, but Bale is definitely the preferable choice both creatively and financially--even if he does command a massive salary for suiting up as the Caped Crusader again. Making these movies without Bale wouldn't be as off-putting as making Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr., but it would be close. Disney wisely curbed any thoughts that Downey Jr. wouldn't return by bringing him back on board with a nice payday. WB should also do what it can to bring Bale back.  

The overseas potential of a Batman/Superman film is enormous. For proof, look no further than how much the Dark Knight franchise grew overseas. 2008's The Dark Knight took in $468.6 million and four years later The Dark Knight Rises' overseas tally shot up to $631.2 million. Man of Steel has already raked in $337.3 million overseas.

Any conversation about the potential of a 2015 release wouldn't be complete without mentioning China. Based on the current growth rate, it's not hard to imagine that the total Chinese box office could reach $5 billion in 2015. Even though some analysts from China believe that many Chinese moviegoers are getting sick of American superheros, there's still room in a market that big for a Superman/Batman film to rake in a healthy haul. Man of Steel is currently up to more than $63 million in China, an improvement over the $55.6 million haul of The Dark Knight Rises. A modest goal of $100 million in China for the Superman/Batman film is a cautious point to start expectations at. 

Here's today's official press release:

BURBANK, CA, July 20, 2013 - On the heels of the worldwide success of "Man of Steel," director Zack Snyderis bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time-Batman and Superman-for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution,Warner Bros. Pictures.

The current hit, "Man of Steel," has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcomingfilm brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.

Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date inSummer 2015.

Silverman stated, "Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he's a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way." Kroll added, "We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel' is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us."

Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted,"Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DCEntertainment could not be more excited for Zack's continuing vision for the DC Universe."

Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con today, breaking the news to audiences there, later said, "I'm so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can't wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let's face it, it's beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world."

The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.

Thomas offered, "Whilst our ‘Dark Knight' trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack's fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can't wait to see what Zack does with these characters."

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.



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