Weekend Box Office: “Monsters” roar, “Heat” is hot, “White House Down” bombs

White-House-Down-MovieThe big box office story of the weekend was not that another Pixar movie is a two weekend hit. “Monsters University” had a solid holdover on its second weekend, but its Saturday dropped it well below $50 million on its second go round and left it with a not-shabby/far from epic $44 million.

And the big story isn’t that another R-rated buddy comedy blew up — “The Heat” bought Sandra Bullock another three years of real box office clout and fame, and solidified Melissa McCarthy’s status as the go to comic for box office success.

No, the story is that “White House Down,” a $150 million repeat of “Olympus Has Fallen,” bombed. It opened winded on Friday and utterly ran out of gas on Saturday. It’ll be lucky to clear $26 million, and will be fading fast by the time “Pacific Rim” and “Lone Ranger” and the July films that serve that same audience open.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark. On Sony.
It’s a shame, because it’s the better of the two Terrorists Take Over the White House movies. Did the public get its fill of that with “Olympus,” did they hear too much about the movie’s plot (quite similar to Olympus, but with right wing militia movement villains) and similarities to politics in D.C. to want to see it? As I mentioned in my review, there’s something dispiriting about both of the films. The idea that so much could go wrong — and be made to go wrong, just for a laugh and an action beat — may play better in the parts of the world where America is a punching bag. But not at home.

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