Guillermo del Toro's $190 million robot vs. monsters epic "Pacific Rim" didn't take the top spot at the box office this weekend, but, fortunately, neither did "Grown Ups 2."
The honor went to "Despicable Me 2." The animated family film, which opened July 3, took in $44.8 million over the weekend, its domestic total now up to $229.2 million. "Despicable's" now on pace to overtake the box office of "Monster's University" and "Man of Steel," making it one of the summer's biggest hits, second only to "Iron Man 3."
Right on the movie's heels, however, was another sequel, "Grown Ups 2," the predictably panned gross-out comedy starring Adam Sandler and his buddies. "GU2" grossed a $42.5 million weekend, narrowly besting the $40.5 million opening of its 2010 predecessor.
And in third-place was "Pacific Rim," scoring a slightly-better-than-projected $38.3 million. del Toro's movie was a rarity this summer. It's a tentpole film that's not a sequel, a remake, a reboot or an adaptation of a comic book. It also has no big stars, having opted instead for two guys from "Sons of Anarchy," one from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and another from "The Wire."
"Pacific Rim" will likely make back its money with overseas box office, but the fact that it's not a bona fide hit doesn't bode well for the next few summer movie seasons. Every time a non-sequel, non-comic-book movie underwhelms at the box office, the already risk-averse movie studios play it even safer.
So congratulations, America. You're probably going to get a "Grown Ups 3."