USA Today -- The zombie invasion was bigger than expected, but so was enrollment at a university for monsters
Despite a strong showing from Brad Pitt's zombie flickWorld War Z, Pixar'sMonsters University looks on track to win one of the more hotly contested weekends of summer.
The prequel did $82 million, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com.The debut was $7 million above analysts' predictions and marked the 14th straight No. 1 film in Pixar's 18-year history.
While forecasters expected aMonstersvictory, they weren't ready for such tight competition fromWWZ, which did $66 million.
Analysts predicted a $50 million opening forWWZ, which became Pitt's biggest opening weekend, eclipsingMr. & Mrs. Smith's debut of $50 million in 2005.
Monsterscapitalized on a dearth of films geared toward family and younger kids, says Tim Briody of Boxofficeprophets.com.
"With schools out, there was demand andMonsters Universityis coming along at the right time," he says.
WWZ, meanwhile, demonstrates "the star power of ... zombies," he says. "Oh, and maybe that Brad Pitt guy, too."
Briody saysWWZfed off "the popularity ofThe Walking Dead, and zombies in general, a Super Bowl commercial and being a well-known book."
Man of Steel, the Superman film that scored the biggest debut for a movie in June last week, looks to be coming to earth quickly, dropping more than 65% this weekend for a weekend haul of $41.2 million.
The Seth Rogen comedyThis is the Endtook fourth with $13 million, followed by the magician-caper filmNow You See Me, which did $7.9 million. Final figures are due Monday.