‘The Heat’ Scorching ‘White House Down’ and Pressing ‘Monsters U’ at Box Office

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R-rated Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock comedy eyes $40 million weekend. "World War Z" beating Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx for third

Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock's raunchy female cop comedy "The Heat" got off to a sizzling start Friday, finishing just behind reigning box-office champ "Monsters University" and easily outstripping the weekend's other wide opener "White House Down."

Disney's animated Pixar family film still has the inside track after topping Friday with $14.3 million from 4,003 screens, the bulk of which are 3D. With families expected to turn out in force on Saturday and Sunday, the G-rated "Monsters U" should come in at around $47 million for the three days. That would be a very strong hold — just a 42 percent drop from its opening weekend– for the "Monsters Inc." prequel, which has taken in nearly $140 million domestically in a little more than a week.

See photos: The Evolution of the Female Comedy

Fox's "The Heat" is the summer's first – and only – big movie with female leads. It rang up $13.6 million from 3,181 theaters Friday and is on pace for a weekend in the $40 million range. That's about $5 million more than analysts had projected for the R-rated caper comedy and would top the debut of McCarthy's "Identity Thief," which debuted to $34 million in February.

Also read: Will 'The Heat' Fuel the Fire for More Female Buddy Movies?

"The Heat" is also pacing ahead of "Bridesmaids," the similarly raunchy comedy that also featured director Paul Feig and McCarthy. That one opened to $26 million and went on to make $169 million domestically.

Sony's "White House Down" was running fourth, just behind "World War Z" and ahead of "Man of Steel."

The Channing Tatum-Jamie Foxx action epic brought in about $9 million from 3,222 theaters Friday and is on pace for a $25 million three-day total. That's about $10 million less than the analysts projected and not the sort of opening you'd hope for from a $150 million movie.

Also read: 'White House Down' Vs. 'The Heat': Critics Prefer Profane Comedy Over Loud Explosions

It looks to be one of the worst major openings for director Roland Emmerich, who's had big debuts with apocalyptic epics before, including 2009's "2012" ($65 million) and 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow" ($68 million) and 1996's "Independence Day ($50 million).

Both the PG-13 rated "White House Down" and "The Heat" received "A-" CinemaScores from first-night audiences.

Brad Pitt's zombie thriller "World War Z" also took in around $9 million from 3,607 theaters Friday, and is looking at roughly $29 million second week for Paramount. That would be about a 55 percent drop from its debut weekend.

Warner Bros.' Superman sequel "Man of Steel" added $6 million from a market-high 4,131 theaters Friday and has a shot at a $20 million third week. Its domestic total is now $233 million.

Also read: 'Man of Steel' Latest Box-Office Champ to Lose Altitude Under Tough Competition

Sony's "This is the End" and Summit "Now You See" both held strongly for sixth and seventh.

The R-rated Seth Rogen comedy took in $2.5 million Friday and was off just 37 percent from last week, despite dropping 345 theaters to 2,710, and has now taken in nearly $75 million domestically.

The magic-themed heist thriller did $1.6 million from 2,564 locations, 259 fewer than last week, and still fell just 28 percent from last week. It should finish at around $5.7 million, which will push it over the $100 million milestone.

Universal's "Fast & Furious 6," Paramount's "Star Trek Into Darkness" and the Fox comedy "The Internship" rounded out Friday's top ten.

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