‘World War Z’ Could Surpass $60 Million as Monster B.O. Weekend Kicks Off

Variety Staff

Paramount and Skydance’s zombie thriller “World War Z” swarmed the U.S. box office on Friday, outperforming early projections and adding to what should be a record-breaking weekend for Hollywood.

Starring Brad Pitt, the 3D blockbuster was approaching $60 million as of Friday evening, only slightly behind  Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University” ($68-72 million) for the No. 1 spot.

SEE ALSO: “World War Z” a Big Test for Paramount

“World War Z,” directed by Marc Forster, marks the best opening weekend of Brad Pitt’s career, topping the 2005 debut of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” ($50.4 million).

Box office analysts warn “World War Z” could rise even higher Friday night from latenight audiences, but “Monsters University” should rest comfortably in first place.

SEE ALSO: “Monsters U” Makes Billy Crystal Feel Young

Meanwhile, Warners’ “Man of Steel” continued to attract legions of superhero fans Friday, dropping 60% in week-to-week earnings for an estimated $50 million weekend.

The “Man of Steel” numbers could prove to be the third and final piece in helping Hollywood achieve history this weekend. Never before, during a non-holiday weekend, have three movies earned more than $50 million each at the box office.

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