Less than a month after Will Smith’s “After Earth” crashed at the box office, Sony finds itself in another predicament with Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down.”
The $150 million action thriller, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, is the studio’s most expensive film of the summer but may debut as poorly as fourth place this weekend with a projected $27 million.
Not only are the early estimates soft for a project Sony bought in a record spec deal for $3 million in 2012, it’s actually worse than this year’s other White House thriller, “Olympus Has Fallen,” which opened to $30.8 million for FilmDistrict on a much smaller budget ($70 million).
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s “The Heat,” meanwhile, is sizzling in second place with approximately $40 million this weekend. The R-rated comedy, produced for $43 million, marks another hit for McCarthy and “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig.
Still the No. 1 movie, Disney’s “Monsters University” eyes an impressive $50 million this weekend while “World War Z” rounds out the top 3 with $32 million, dropping only 52% week-to-week.
Despite “White House Down’s” mediocre performance, Sony should have a strong late summer push with both the “Grown Ups” and “Smurfs” sequels, followed by sci-fi tentpole “Elysium,” starring Matt Damon.