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 128.

    'read me thoughts, the rofr'

    I'd be scared to read your thoughts. . . . . too strange a place for me

  • Comment number 127.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.


    Well, it wasn't me who gave you -1, but you have to take into account that inflation is not the whole story. Wages have not kept track of inflation in any way. Therefore, when comparing the cost of cinema tickets for a family now to 10 or 20 years ago, you have to look at a household's disposable income, which, due to wage stagnation, is falling in real terms while prices rise.

  • 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 124.

    @122: Definitely in the top 10 most confusing, but you get some really special people on here sometimes.

    Not sure who gave me -1 for 121, it's not even an opinion, it's a fact. The only reason I can think of to -1 that is because you have a strongly held opinion and it's been proven wrong. Deal with it, facts are facts, adjust your views to match the facts, instead of hiding behind fallacies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.


    I remember in the late 70's, early 80's my mum used to drop us off in Basingstoke town cinema whilst she went shopping. . . . . . 10p for all morning at the cinema watching Zorro amongst many others. . . . . .now it's over £17 for me and my son for just one film, so don't give me the 'it's cheap' because it's not!

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Is it just me or is comment 118 the most confusing, illiterate drivel ever put in a HYS post?

    I can only assume he was a scriptwriter for G.I. Joe Retaliation

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    Just a note as to people complaining 'oh no, I refuse to go these days, it's much more expensive than it used to be' - no, it isn't. Adjusted for inflation, it's 50p more expensive now than it was in 2000, its almost exactly the same price as it was in 1990, and its 75p cheaper than it was in 1980.

    Source: boxofficemojo for ticket prices, BBC for inflation calculator.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    I am just so over the moon for the Hollywood establishment - on course for the biggest box office summer ever.....

    ....how wonderful, what with so many of the poor dears having to get by on a measly several illion a year, the poor lambs......

    .....the deserve a break huh..........???????????

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    I think it's funny how epic the slating of Elysium is by Fox News. Obviously it's a bitter pill for Murdoch and his sycophants to swallow.

    Funny coming from the company who fired everyone who made the film FIGHT CLUB because as Murdoch said "I don't make films that make people think!"

    Perhaps why Fox hate this so much.

    It's not good for their right wing agenda being told the truth.

  • Comment number 118.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • 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 116.

    I would be more inclined to go to the cinema again if there were security staff to tazer the muppets who want full blown conversations with their friends, or on the mobiles all the time during the screening.

    Also, why do cinemas sell the noisiest food around ?

    Until going to the cinema becomes civilised again, then the newest blockbuster is irrelevant.

  • Comment number 115.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    Wow, so many people telling me what I should like, and so many people saying only uneducated people watch Hollywood trash.

    My education is to phd level, and I love Hollywood trash. I've seen Pacific Rim 3 times cos I loved it, I watch films for special effects and escapism. The plot, meh.

    If I wanted realism and depression, I have a window in my house, I want to be entertained.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    I wont be going to see these films...Have you seen the cost of going the cinema these days ?.

  • Comment number 112.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    Gave up on American BS and overpriced cinemas decades ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Sorry. Am I missing something here? The other day, we had lots of hand wringing from the studios over how much piracy was hurting the industry, then we have this bit of advertising about how the films this summer are making more money than ever for them?

    We have the real answer in the middle though. They spend £millions on utter turkeys, and look surprised when no-one goes to see them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    the internet and by extention piracy has freed the art community. i'll give you the equation you can do it yourself :) VALUE= SUPPLY OVER DEMAND so if you have an infinite amount of art thanks to the internet the value is automatically zero everybody can make a movie or some crap communist propaganda like elysium. value and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder :) and yes the propaganda is huge


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