It’s bizarre to think that 2 Guns and The Smurfs 2 are competitors in any regard, but the pics happened to open in theaters on the same weekend. While the R-rated, buddy thriller and the PG-rated CG and live action sequel about some mystical blue creatures probably aren’t drawing the same audience, in the wold of box office returns, only the winner matters. And it turns out that more people turned out for the male-dominated violent comedy than for another kid-friendly sequel.
2 Guns (CinemaScore: B+) opened at first place, earning an estimated $27.4 million for the weekend. This is a squarely solid opening for stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. According to exit polls, males, who comprised about 51 percent of the audience, gave the movie an A– CinemaScore. For director Baltasar Kormákur (The Deep), this opening is a career high. The charisma and chemistry of two stars seems key to the appeal, especially for a movie with such an ambiguous and generic “action” title.
Playing in 3,025 locations and averaging about $9,025 per screen, 2 Guns exceeded Universal’s expectations for the weekend, which had put the movie in the $20 million range. Co-financed by Emmett/Furla Films and Foresight Unlimited with an estimated production budget of about $61 million, the big question is: How the movie will fare in weeks to come? It remains to be seen whether or not the solid reviews and word-of-mouth buzz can help make it significant hit.