The Heat Lights Up White House Down with $13.6 Million Friday Debut

The Heat Lights Up White House Down with $13.6 Million Friday DebutMelissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock powered The Heat with laughter to a strong opening on Friday, easily surpassing Roland Emmerich’s assault on Washington, D.C. White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. When all is said and done, Pixar and Disney’s Monsters University should win its second consecutive weekend at the North American box office.

The Heat teamed up McCarthy and Bullock for the first time and the results speak for themselves. Opening at 3,181 locations, The Heat caught fire at the box office on Friday with a solid $13.6 million opening, good enough for second place. As word of mouth spreads, expect The Heat to accumulate somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million through its opening weekend.

White House Down was the second film revolving around terrorists attacking the White House and ended up getting downed by McCarthy and Bullock. With only $9 million on Friday, Sony’s action thriller will fall short of the $30 million estimate heading into the weekend, and even that wouldn’t have been the greatest opening. Apparently trying to blow up the White House heading into July 4th works best for Emmerich when aliens are involved i.e. Independence Day. White House Down Blu-ray pre-orders have quickly kicked off at with the title breaking into Amazon’s Blu-ray top 10 bestsellers chart.

Topping both big newcomers was Monsters University with $14.3 million. As record heat scorches the west coast and southwest United States, expect families to seek refuge in cool air-conditioned movie theaters to help push the Pixar prequel up near the $50 million mark. At worst it should wrap its second weekend with $45 million and has already earned $139.1 million to date.

Brad Pitt and World War Z continues to drum up business and nearly beat White House Down with $8.9 million. The zombies apocalypse flick has now crossed $100 million and should push up near $150 million or higher by the time its theatrical run comes to a close. World war Z Blu-ray pre-order sales are strong and a sequel is already in the early planning stages.

Man of Steel flew into fifth place with $6 million, which might seem disappointing except that that Warner Bros. and DC Comics superhero flick is at $233.8 million thus far and approaching $425 million worldwide.

Please stop back tomorrow as the weekend studio estimates come in to see if Monsters University reached $50 million, if The Heat broke through $40 million, and how far White House Down managed to fall.

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