June 2013 easily set a new record for the month by crushing June 2009's $1.09 billion. It was also the highest-grossing month ever outside of July, and was fifth-highest overall.
This always looked like a strong Summer, though few could have predicted that it would be this big: so far, Summer 2013 is up 15 percent over Summer 2012. At the end of April, year-to-date box office was down 12 percent, but that gap has now been closed to just two percent.
After setting a new opening weekend record for the month of June, Man of Steel ended the month in the top spot with $248.6 million. It's already out-grossed 2006's Superman Returns ($200 million), and despite a steep second weekend drop it's still in line for a final total around $300 million. Add in strong overseas grosses (it should get to $400 million) and this is a major win for Warner Bros.
Monsters University took second place with $170.4 million through just 10 days in theaters. The movie opened to $82.4 million, which among Pixar movies is second only to Toy Story 3. It also held well in its second outing (off just 45 percent); while it's going to get beat up by Despicable Me 2, it should still wind up near $300 million at the end of its run.
Journalists have been writing World War Z's obituary for months, but ultimately audiences didn't care much about the behind-the-scenes drama: the zombie action movie shocked everyone when it opened to $66.4 million, and had already amassed $123.7 million through the end of the month. It's on pace for a final tally well over $180 million, and with good overseas grosses it should be well-positioned for a sequel.
More-so than World War Z, Now You See Me came out of nowhere to become what is arguably the biggest surprise so far this Summer. The magician thriller opened on the last day of May and, thanks to excellent word-of-mouth, had earned $104.8 million through the end of June. It's the latest feather-in-the-cap of Lionsgate/Summit, which has been on a roll since joining forces last January.
Rounding out the Top Five, Fast & Furious 6 added $86.8 million in June for a total of $233.4 million. That makes it the highest-grossing entry in the franchise so far; it's also sold the most tickets, which is a remarkable accomplishment for the sixth entry in a 12-year-old series. The movie is poised to ultimately earn well over $700 million worldwide, and the seventh outing is already scheduled for July 11, 2014.
Other strong performers include This is the End ($74.7 million), The Purge ($62.8 million) and The Heat ($39.1 million through just three days).
As usual, there were a few disappointments, two of which were released by Sony/Columbia. Will and Jaden Smith sci-fi adventure After Earth opened poorly on the last day of May, and by the end of June it had all-but-ended its run at $58.2 million. Meanwhile, expensive actioner White House Down took in just $24.9 million on the final weekend of June, and won't come anywhere close to $100 million at the domestic box office.
The Internship also performed poorly: despite reuniting the Wedding Crashers duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, the Google comedy has grossed a paltry $41.7 million (less than one-fifth of Wedding Crashers's total).
Through the first half of the year, Disney leads the way among all studios with $887 million. That's thanks to Iron Man 3 (the highest-grossing movie of the year with over $405 million), Oz The Great and Powerful and Monsters University. With Monsters still going strong and The Lone Ranger opening on Wednesday, Disney will be the first studio to pass $1 billion this year.
While many of their movies have underperformed, Warner Bros. still ranks a close second with $869 million. Universal has also had a good year at $742 million so far. Among the Big Six studios, the lowest-grossing one so far is Sony, which has tallied a meager $376 million so far. This can mostly be attributed to a sparse early-year schedule, though it didn't help that After Earth performed so poorly.
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• Summer 2013 Forecast
• May Kicks Off Summer 2013 With Record Grosses
• March Not Strong Enough to Salvage First Quarter of 2013
• 'Identity Thief' Tops Abysmal February
• 2012 Holdovers Dominate First Month of 2013
• 2013 Preview
• 2012 Recap: Winners & Losers
• Domestic Box Office Sets New Yearly Record in 2012
• Blockbuster Franchises Help November 2012 Destroy Record
• October Starts Strong, Ends on Down Note
• 'Hotel Transylvania' Tops Solid September
• Awful August Ends Summer 2012
• Five $50 Million Debuts Propel June Business
• June Calendar Grosses
• 2013 Grosses (2013-only releases)
• Year-to-Date Comparison