A Wednesday opening may have used up some of the fan base that would have given The Smurfs 2 a big opening weekend, as Deadline is now reporting that the film is no longer expected to top the U.S. box office this weekend.
Rather, the top two films will both be comic book adaptations: BOOM! Studios' 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg at #1, followed by 20th Century Fox's Marvel adaptation The Wolverine, which opened last week at more than $50 million.
2 Guns, which was expected to make between $20 million and $25 million, now appears on pace to make $32 million--that's $10 million more than The Wolverine, which looks to bring in about $21 million. Behind that, The Smurfs 2 is doing huge international business (it will probably be the #1 movie in the world) but in the U.S. it will bring in around $16 million. For its first five days of release, The Smurfs 2 will generate around $26 million, which is $10 million less than Sony had projected, so it clearly wasn't only the Wednesday opening that hurt its prospects. Even with the depressed U.S. turnout, though, the studio is expecting a $100 million weekend for the film.
The Smurfs 2 has also made around $150 million from more than 100 promotional partners--including many of the same corporations who ponied up for Man of Steel's pre-releases promotional blitz. Given that it only cost $105 million to make, that will be a tidy profit for Sony by the end of the weekend.