We’re rolling into another big summer showdown at the box office this weekend.
Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx’s over-the-top action thriller “White House Down” (“WHD”) is going head-to-head with queen of comedy Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock’s cop comedy “The Heat.”
Analysts have said it’s going to be one of the closest box-office weekends with The Wrap predicting earlier this summer “The Heat” would narrowly edge out the “White House” film.
So far “WHD” had the advantage Thursday evening, earning $1.35 million vs. $1 million in late-night and midnight showings for “The Heat.”
However it should be noted Columbia Pictures began rolling out Roland Emmerich’s presidential thriller at 7 p.m. as opposed to the funny girl comedy which didn’t start showing in theatres until 10 p.m.
While most analysts are expecting the two films to battle it out for second place at the box office, it looks like the R-rated “Heat” ladies may be hot enough to steal the weekend — even from the clutches of Disney’s mammoth “Monsters University.”
Here’s why the women of “The Heat” could take down Tatum.
Ticket Sales Outpacing “WHD”
Fandango tells us that right now “The Heat” is its number one ticket seller among new releases.
Of course, more men may just show up to theatres rather than buy pre-paid tickets.
However, The Hollywood Reporter is already anticipating “WHD” to be one of, if not the lowest-opening weekend of any Emmerich film.
With “Monsters University” expected to lead the box office for the second weekend in a row with at least $40 million, “The Heat” could potentially sneak up on Disney’s prequel.
Could an R-rated chick flick really beat “Monsters University”? Fandango’s Chief Correspondent Dave Karger says it could happen.
“It’s very possible that ‘The Heat’ could win the weekend, as it’s already leading the online and mobile ticket sales on Fandango,” says Karger. “If it wins, it would be a huge upset since ‘The Heat’ is an R-Rated action comedy up against a G-rated family film like ‘Monsters’ and a PG-13-rated blockbuster like ‘White House Down.'”
Melissa McCarthy On The Rise
If we’ve learned anything at the box office this year, it’s that people want to see Melissa McCarthy on screen.
As of yesterday, “The Heat” was selling 50% more advance tickets on Fandango than for McCarthy’s two previous films “Bridesmaids” and “Identity Thief.” Opening weekend, “Bridesmaids” earned $26 million before going on to earn $288 million worldwide.
“Identity Thief” surprised many critics when it debuted to $34.6 million opening weekend — more than $10 million it was expected to earn.
The film stayed atop the box office charts until Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” came out six weeks later.
In a survey of 1,000 ticket buyers for “The Heat,” Fandango found the unique pairing of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is what’s driving people to theatres.
Women Are Going To Flock To See This Film — Don’t Count Men Out, Too
According to Fandango’s survey, 67% are planning to make the event a girl’s night out.
While we shouldn’t count out Tatum’s fan base of ladies, this isn’t “Magic Mike 2.” The first film prospered due to the “50 Shades of Grey” craze.
Plus, an overwhelming 90% are heading to see the movie because it’s NOT an action flick (sorry “WHD”).
Essentially, “The Heat” is a “This Is The End”-esque movie for women.
The appeal of Sandra Bullock should bring a younger demographic of men that are also heading to see “WHD” since the film conjures images of previous Bullock action films, “Speed” and “Miss Congeniality.”
One other thing “The Heat” has going for it is that the critics are being kinder to the girl-powered buddy comedy as opposed to Tatum and Foxx’s thriller that seems all too familiar.
To be fair, “White House Down” does have the backing of Tatum who came off a very successful 2012 (more on that here), and certainly Jimmy Kimmel who has had both he and co-star Jamie Foxx on a few times together to promote their upcoming film. The three starred in now-viral video “Channing All Over Your Tatum.” Really.
It should be an exciting weekend.
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