(EW.com) -- 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.
The Wolverine fell about 59.1% from its opening weekend to bring in about $21.7 million during this frame. Playing on 3,924 screens, Fox's $120 million X-Men pic now boasts a domestic total of $95 million. Overseas, the well-reviewed Hugh Jackman-starrer has made an estimated $160.2 million, bringing its worldwide total to $255.2 million.
The third place spot went to The Smurfs 2 (CinemaScore: A--), which made about $18.2 million over the three-day weekend, bringing its domestic total up to $27.8 million. As we mentioned about yesterday, the domestic returns don't really matter around this sequel, as it's all about how the movie (made for $105 million) performs internationally. Playing in 43 overseas markets, The Smurfs 2 made about $52.5 million overseas. Worldwide, it has taken $80.3 million. Though it will be pitted against the other animated offerings of the season, The Smurfs 2 is really only competing with the success of its 2011 predecessor, which made $536.7 million worldwide ($421.1 million of which was overseas).
The Conjuring blew past the $100 million mark, adding a $13.7 million weekend. Unlike most of the movies on the slate, The Conjuring actually added theaters to its count, helping to account for a modest 38.5 percent drop from the previous weekend. After three weeks in theaters, director James Wan's horror film has made about $108.6 million and looks poised to continue its streak in the weeks to come, especially considering it'll exist without direct competition until You're Next opens on August 23.
Despicable Me 2 came in fifth place this weekend with about $10.4 million. After five weeks in theaters, the animated juggernaut is the second-highest-performing movie of the year, behind only Iron Man 3. So far, the sequel has also brought in about $387 million internationally, with a global total of $713.7 million.
Here's an at-a-glance view of the top 5:
1. 2 Guns -- $27.4 million
2. The Wolverine -- $21.7 million
3. The Smurfs 2 -- $18.2 million
4. The Conjuring -- $13.7 million
5. Despicable Me 2 -- $10.4 million
The Spectacular Now also opened this weekend in four theaters (in New York and Los Angeles) to about $200,000, with a $50,000 location average. The lauded high school-set, coming-of-age drama starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley has garnered significant buzz since opening at the Sundance Film Festival in February and could be another gigantic hit for new film distributor A24 (Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring).
Next weekend should be exciting in the box office race: We're the Millers and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters both open on Wednesday, while Elysuim and Planes hit theaters on Friday. It will be interesting to see how a comedy, a sci-fi dystopia pic, and another animated feature will factor into the game, and whether or not they'll all be able to secure top spots in the rankings. Be sure to check back in on Thursday for our predictions.
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