In what would be a mild upset and
"The Heat" stars
"White House Down," budgeted at an estimated $150 million and fully financed by Sony, is not generating strong interest from the same demographic groups -- somewhat of a surprise considering it stars Channing Tatum and
In the last year, big budget Tatum vehicles have opened strongly at the domestic box office: February 2012's
Earlier this year, McCarthy demonstrated she could open a movie, with her Universal Pictures comedy
"The Heat," fully financed by Fox, is opening on 3,181 screens domestically this weekend. It begins showing tonight at 10 p.m. The movie also is debuting in 12 smaller foreign territories this weekend.
"White House Down" is opening on 3,222 screens domestically and also is opening in a smattering of smaller territories, with a broader rollout in mid-July. The studio is counting on solid word of mouth and strong business overseas. The movie begins showing at 7 p.m. tonight.
The action-thriller from director
There has been some concern that audiences could be tired of pictures about the White House under attack in the aftermath of March's similarly themed
Filmmaker Emmerich, also a producer on "White House Down," is known for big-budget action pictures that deliver at the box office. His 2004 disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow" opened to $101 million and went on to gross $544 million worldwide. And "Independence Day," released in 1996, opened to $50 million and ultimately took in $817 million worldwide.
A No. 3 finish for "White House Down" would be disappointing for Sony, particularly on the heels of the weak showing of its
Sony, which has had success with the summer comedy "This Is the End," could reverse its rocky summer start with a handful of upcoming pictures that are sequels to highly successful movies. "Grown Ups 2," out July 12, follows 2010's