The question heading into this frame at the box office was whether World War Z would earn over $50 million, joining Monsters University and Man of Steel and making this the first weekend ever in which three films earned over $50 million. Well, World War Z will earn over $50 million — but due to Man of Steel‘s unexpectedly huge dropoff, that box office record won’t be reached.
Monsters University topped the box office on Friday with a monstrous $30.5 million. That’s better than the $24.6 million that Brave started with en route to a $66.3 million debut, but lower than the $41.1 million that Toy Story 3 earned on Friday on the way to a $110.3 million debut. Monsters University will likely finish between those two films, perhaps with about $75-80 million in its first three days.
In second place, Brad Pitt vehicle World War Z broke out with a terrific $25 million. The zombie thriller, which reportedly cost over $200 million to produce (Paramount is admitting to $190 million), may earn about $63 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period. For a movie whose production was famously troubled, World War Z marks a major marketing win for Paramount. It will easily become the biggest opening of Brad Pitt’s career.
Man of Steel plummeted 71 percent from its first Friday to $12.7 million. The Superman reboot may finish in third place with about $41 million in its sophomore frame, which would give it a $210 million total — more than Superman Returns‘ entire $200 million domestic finish. That said, it looks like Man of Steel may have to work harder than initially expected to reach $300 million, which seemed all but assured after its robust $128.7 million debut last weekend.
This is the End and Now You See Me rounded out the Top 5 with $4.1 million and $2.5 million, respectively. This is the End may score about $13 million, which would mark an excellent drop of just 40 percent and give it nearly $58 million total. Now You See Me, meanwhile, may take in about $8 million in its fourth weekend, giving it an excellent $94 million cume.
1. Monsters University – $30.5 million
2. World War Z – $25 million
3. Man of Steel – $12.7 million
4. This is the End – $4.1 million
5. Now You See Me – $2.5 million
Check back to EW tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates.