Hollywood on course for biggest summer box office in 2013

Elysium The summer box office takings have topped $4.1bn (£2.6bn) so far

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Hollywood is on course for its biggest ever summer box office in the US despite several high profile flops.

Big budget films The Lone Ranger, Will Smith's After Earth and animation Turbo all hugely underperformed in America.

However figures show studio films have earned $4.1bn (£2.6bn), close to 2011's previous high of $4.4bn (£2.8bn).

Sci-fi Elysium, from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, topped this week's North American chart earning $30.5m (£19.7m) in its opening weekend.

Starring Matt Damon and South African actor Sharlto Copley, the film had a fairly modest debut after costing $115m (£74.3m) to make.

Elysium matched studio expectations but opened with a lower figure than director Blomkamp's surprise 2009 low-budget hit, which took $37.3m (£24.1m) in its first three days.

Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, said Elysium would be "very profitable", adding "international is going to be the big, big win on this film for us".

North American box office

  1. Elysium - $30.5m
  2. We're the Millers -$26.6m
  3. Planes - $22.5m
  4. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - $14.6m
  5. 2 Guns - $11.1m

Source: Hollywood.com

In a crowded week for new releases, Jennifer Aniston's comedy We're The Millers took the second slot with $26.6m (£17.2m) while Disney animation Planes took $22.5m ($14.5m).

The weekend's takings brought 2013's total box office to $7bn (£4.5bn) so far.

Sci-fi Pacific Rim and Jeff Bridges' action comedy R.I.P.D were other high budget films which left studios disappointed at the box office over the summer.

Chris Aronson, the head of distribution for Fox, admitted 2013 had seen some "high-profile failures," but added, "the summer's been fantastic despite the gloom and doom some in the media have portrayed".

The summer flops have been offset by the success of films such as World War Z - which has crossed the $500m (£323m) global takings mark despite rumoured problems and reshoots - and the doomsday comedy This Is the End, which has made $96m (£62m) - three-times its budget.

Animations Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University also earned huge box office numbers worldwide, taking $746m (£482m) and $637m (£412m) respectively to date.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    I have seen the trailers for most of the upcoming films, not one has enthused me to bother to go to the cinema. There seems to be a derth of storylines, and WHy do 'special effects' look so poor? One recent movie had effects little better than the 1960's Godzilla series, when will Directors realise that sometimes less is more. CGI is wasted if poorly done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    How anyone can afford to go to the cinema these days is beyond me. . . . . . . . . £17 for myself and my 10 year old. . . . . and thats without a drink and sweets. . . . . . . .Sorry, but no actor/actress is worth £10 million per film to get ripped off for

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    This means nothing. If you include inflation of cinema tickets, it would be a very average year. Iron Man 3 is 101 on the list of highest grossing with inflation accounted for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    People complain about everything being about the special effects, no plot, formulaic and "just another sequel" but equally we're all to blame. When the latest Transformer-esque movie rakes in a huge pile of cash at the box office then what exactly do you expect Hollywood to continue to churn out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    There is no correlation between how good a movie is and how much it takes at the box office


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