Box Office Report: 'Monsters University' Scares Up $30.5 Million on Friday

Monsters University Still 1 - H 2013
Walt Disney Studios

Monsters University Still 1 - H 2013

Brad Pitt's zombie apocalypse tentpole,"World War Z," debuts at No. 2 with a strong $25 million.

Colorful, kid-friendly monsters defeated swarming hoards of zombies at the box office Friday, but it was a spirited battle.

By the time the dust had settled, Disney’s release of Pixar’s Monsters University had grossed an estimated $30.5 million for the day in 4,004 theaters in North America. The G-rated prequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc., directed by Don Scanlon with the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, earned an A CinemaScore and is on track to rack up an opening weekend topping $70 million. The 3D animated pic began rolling out at 8 p.m. Thursday in select theaters, where it grossing $2.6 million for the night.

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Paramount’s World War Z, the PG-13 zombie pic, which the studio co-financed with Skydance Productions, took in $25 million Friday, including $3.6 million from midnight screenings. Picking up a B+ CinemaScore, the movie, directed by Marc Forster and starring Brad Pitt, bowed in 3,607 theaters and is headed for an opening weekend in the $60 million range.

Meanwhile, Warners and Legendary’s Man of Steel entered its second weekend with a strong third-place showing. Zack Snyder’s superhero opus collected $12.7 million for the day, bringing its domestic tally to $181.5 million as it flies into a weekend that could hit $40 million or more.

Overseas, World War Z already is drumming up strong business, scoring $5.7 million Thursday and pacing in line with Christopher Nolan's Inception. In South Korea, the film grossed $1.5 million, ahead of the $1.1 million earned a week earlier by Man of Steel. Inception's opening-day gross in South Korea was $941,000.

World War Z also grossed $1.1 million in Australia on Thursday, in line with Inception. And the movie entered the record books in Argentina, grossing $710,000 -- doubling Man of Steel's Thursday take there and posting the third-best Thursday to date in that market.