Box Office Beat: Weekend of June 21

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatHello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office results. After two weekends of wildly missing the mark, my accuracy improved last weekend, albeit not to the extent that I wanted it to. I lowballed on both “Man of Steel” and “This is the End,” coming within 86.4 percent and 75.4 percent of the actual grosses, respectively. Let’s hope I’m officially on the rebound and crunch some numbers (quickly, because I’ve got to get to bed before I wake up to do my “Monsters University” review bright and early, then head out to a 10:30 a.m. screening of “Unfinished Song”).

Monsters UniversityThere are two new wide releases (unless you count “The Bling Ring,” which drops in 650 sites), the more likely of the two to top the chart being Pixar’s “Monsters University.” It’s unlikely to improve on the original “Monsters, Inc.”’s opening weekend ($62.6m) by the whopping 92.2 percent that “Toy Story 3” did over “Toy Story 2,” despite the similarities (the introduction of 3-D, the passing of over a decade). But “Cars 2”’s 10.0 percent improvement over “Cars” seems far too low. I know: I’ll arbitrarily average the two percentage increases, to come out with a 51.1 percent prediction for “Monsters University.” That would mean an opening of $94.6 million.

World War ZThen there’s the Brad Pitt zombie vehicle “World War Z,” which was notoriously plagued by production problems but appears to have come out unscathed, with decent reviews (68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a good amount of Internet buzz (zombies are undoubtedly hot right now). Pitt’s last out-and-out action film to launch during the summer was 2004’s “Troy,” which opened to $46.9m, but was rated R and didn’t have 3-D to inflate its gross. So expect a figure about 20 percent better: $56.3 million.

My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:

  1. “Monsters University” … $94.6m
  2. “World War Z” … $56.3m
  3. “Man of Steel” … $52.5m  -55.0%
  4. “This is the End” … $10.4m  -49.8%
  5. “Now You See Me” … $6.9m  -37.4%
  6. “Fast & Furious 6” … $4.3m  -55.1%
  7. “Epic” … $3.9m  -37.9%
  8. “The Internship” … $3.4m  -52.4%
  9. “Star Trek Into Darkness” … $3.1m  -50.4%
  10. “The Purge” … $2.9m  -65.1%