Two very different buddy films began their assault on theaters on Thursday night.
Columbia Pictures' action-thriller White House Down, from Independence Day helmer Roland Emmerich, began rolling out in theaters at 7 p.m., earning $1.35 million on Thursday night.
The female-led comedy The Heat, from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, started hitting select theaters at 10 p.m. Thursday, grossing $1 million in late-night and midnight showings.
20th Century Fox's The Heat stars Sandra Bullock as a strict FBI agent who is forced to team up with Melissa McCarthy's rough-around-the edges Boston street cop.
Modestly budgeted at $43 million to produce, The Heat, opening in 3,181 locations, could continue to bring in a big female audience this weekend, with McCarthy gaining many fans after her breakout role in 2011's Bridesmaids.
Feig's Bridesmaids grossed $26.2 million in its domestic debut in May 2011. Becoming a female-friendly comedy hit, the film, which starred McCarthy along with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, has gone on to gross $288.4 million to date worldwide.
Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, White House Down comes out just three months after FilmDistrict's White House-under-seige film, Olympus Has Fallen. Nevertheless, Tatum and Foxx have sizable fan bases, and White House Down could overperform.
The pic, which cost Sony $150 million to produce, is off to a start similar to Universal's Oblivion, which raked in $1.1 million on Thursday night in April. The Tom Cruise-starrer earned $37 million its opening weekend.
At current pacing, the action film, which is opening in 3,222 locations, could become one of Emmerich's lowest debuts to date. The director's tentpoles have often had strong showings at the box office in the past, particularly when accounting for inflation. In summer 2004, The Day After Tomorrow debuted to $68.7 million. Independence Day -- which also featured the destruction of the White House -- opened to $50.2 million in July 1996.
Both newcomers are facing off against holdover Monsters University, which will likely top the weekend with its family-friendly lure.
The Disney/Pixar film, the prequel to 2001 hit Monsters, Inc., debuted in 4,004 theaters last weekend to earn $82.4 million, making it Pixar's second-highest opening ever behind 2010's Toy Story 3.