'2 Guns' shoots past 'Smurfs,' 'Wolverine' to claim box office

Sun Aug 4, 2013 1:32pm EDT
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By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "2 Guns," starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as rival federal agents, shot through its weekend competition at movie theaters, collecting $27.4 million to lead the North American box office, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.

"The Wolverine," last weekend's box office leader, finished second with $21.7 million in ticket sales and has totaled $95 million during its two weeks in theaters.

Sony's "Smurfs 2," the newly released sequel to its 2011 movie "The Smurfs" starring Neil Patrick Harris and a band of small blue elf-like creatures, was third with $18.2 million in ticket sales.

The horror film "The Conjuring," about a house possessed by a demon, continued its strong run and was fourth with ticket sales of $13.7 million. The animated "Despicable Me 2" was fifth after five weeks with $10.4 million in ticket sales.

"2 Guns," an adaption of the graphic novel by the same name published by Boom! Studios, fell somewhat short of some industry projections that it would generate about $30 million in ticket sales in a summer in which a number of films have failed to live up to expectations.

Walt Disney's "The Lone Ranger" and Sony's "White House Down" and "After Earth" bombed earlier this summer.

"We're thrilled" with the numbers, said Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, which distributed "2 Guns" and chalked up its seventh number-one opening this year. She added that "this was a very healthy box office weekend" at a time when "people used to talk about the August doldrums."

Rocco said the studio had anticipated "2 Guns" would open "somewhere in the twenties" of millions, so "we're very satisfied."   Continued...

Actor Mark Wahlberg arrives for the premiere of the movie "2 Guns" in New York, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri