As was widely expected, Universal's 2 Guns took first place this weekend with an estimated $27.36 million. The action film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg did open towards the lower end of expectations. With that said, it should be noted that 2 Guns was significantly less expensive than most other higher-profile action films this summer. 2 Guns debuted 12 percent stronger than the $24.35 million 2012 launch of Wahlberg's Contraband, but 32 percent softer than the $40.17 million 2012 start of Washington's Safe House. Both of those films were also released by Universal.
2 Guns took in $10.0 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.276 million from late night Thursday shows that began at 8 p.m.), fell 2 percent on Saturday to take in $9.8 million and is estimated to fall 23 percent on Sunday to gross $7.56 million. That gives 2 Guns a so-so estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 to 1. 2 Guns received a respectable B+ rating on CinemaScore. However, the film will face direct competition next weekend from Sony's Elysium and the following weekend from fellow Universal release Kick-Ass 2, which could limit potential holding power for 2 Guns.
The audience breakdown for 2 Guns skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (77 percent) and was essentially evenly split between genders (51 percent female, 49 percent male).
Sony's The Smurfs 2 was off to a very disappointing third place start this weekend with an estimated $18.2 million. That was below already scaled back expectations and places the five-day start for the computer animated / live action sequel at $27.76 million. The Smurfs 2 opened 40 percent softer than the $46.28 million five-day start of 2011's The Smurfs (which opened on a Friday) and an underwhelming 10.5 percent below the recent $31.02 million five-day start of Turbo.
There is no doubt that The Smurfs 2 arriving on the scene after so many other family films this summer hurt its box office potential. The Smurfs 2 did receive an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore and had a solid opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.31 to 1 (it grossed $5.5 million on Friday, $7.1 million on Saturday and is estimated to take in $5.6 million on Sunday), though that ratio was obviously inflated by the film opening on a Wednesday. However, much like the situation with 2 Guns going forward, The Smurfs 2 will soon face significant new direct competition as Fox's Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters arrives on Wednesday and Disney's Planes lands on Friday.
The audience breakdown for The Smurfs 2 skewed towards female moviegoers (63 percent) and towards moviegoers under 25 (also 63 percent). Families made up 80 percent of the film's audience. On the positive side of things, The Smurfs 2 did perform stronger overseas with $52.5 million from 43 territories. That places the film's worldwide launch at $80.3 million.
While it didn't perform any stronger than anticipated this weekend, Fox's The Wolverine was able to claim second place for the frame thanks to the soft start of The Smurfs 2. The sixth installment of the X-Men franchise grossed an estimated $21.73 million, which was down 59 percent from last weekend. The X-Men franchise has historically experienced sharp second weekend declines ranging from 53 percent (2002's X2: X-Men United) to 69 percent (2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine); meaning that the second weekend hold for The Wolverine was very much in line with those of previous X-Men films. With a ten-day take of $95.04 million, The Wolverine is running 3 percent behind the $98.03 million ten-day take of 2011's X-Men: First Class (which fell 56 percent in its second weekend to gross $24.13 million).
Warner's The Conjuring placed in fourth this weekend with an estimated $13.66 million. In the process, the James Wan directed horror film surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone. The Conjuring reached the milestone on Saturday (its 16th day of release) and has grossed $108.59 million in 17 days. The modestly budgeted break-out hit continues to display very strong holding power for its genre, as it was down just 38 percent from last weekend.
Despicable Me 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $10.4 million. The computer animated sequel from Universal and Illumination Entertainment was down 37 percent, as the film saw no real noticeable negative effect from the addition of The Smurfs 2 in the marketplace. The 33-day domestic total for Despicable Me 2 stands at a massive $326.68 million.
Fox Searchlight's The Way, Way Back took in an estimated $2.85 million to place in eleventh, while The Weinstein Company's Fruitvale Station grossed an estimated $2.7 million to finish in twelfth. The Way, Way Back was down 17 percent from last weekend, as it held up significantly stronger than Fruitvale Station, which was down 41 percent. Respective total grosses to date stand at $13.67 million for The Way, Way Back in 31 days and at $10.95 million for Fruitvale Station in 24 days.
On the platform front, Sony Pictures Classics' Blue Jasmine remained strong with an estimated $2.02 million from just 50 locations. That was up 230 percent over last weekend's six-location performance and gave the Woody Allen directed film starring Cate Blanchett a per-location average of $40,441 for the frame. The second weekend performance of Blue Jasmine was a tad stronger than the second weekend performance of 2011's Midnight in Paris, which grossed $1.93 million from 58 locations. Blue Jasmine has grossed $3.01 million through ten days of platform release and will continue to expand into additional locations next weekend and throughout the month of August.
A24's The Spectacular Now was off to a healthy platform start this weekend with an estimated $200,181 from 4 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed film starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley a per-location average of $50,045. The Spectacular Now will expand into additional locations on Friday.