Box Office: ‘2 Guns’ takes down ‘Smurfs 2’ with $27.3 million

He may not be the absolute biggest star in the world, but Denzel Washington is quickly becoming one of the most reliable.  The two-time Oscar winner appears to have landed his fifth major hit in a row after “2 Guns” opened to $27.3 million this weekend.  Granted, he had some help with co-star Mark Wahlberg in the mix this time around, but audiences associate Washington with quality flicks and that helped “2 Guns” debut above studio expectations. The  thriller only rated a B+ with audiences which probably means an eventual $80-90 million gross.  Washington won’t return to theaters until “The Equalizer” arrives in Sept. 2014.

Dropping to the second slot was 20th Century Fox’s “The Wolverine.”  The James Mangold directed action flick found another $21. million for $95 million to date. While its received better reviews than its predecessor, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” this “Wolverine” will be hard pressed to claw its way to  $179.8 million domestic.

Arriving in third place was Sony Pictures’ “Smurfs 2” with just $18.2 million for the 3-day and $27.7 million overall since opening on Wednesday.  That’s significantly lower than the original “Smurf’s” $35 million debut two years ago. Sony isn’t counting on domestic ticket sales, however. The first film grossed 75% of its $563.7 million take overseas and their appetite for the little blue creatures hasn’t waned.

“The Conjuring” is still scaring audiences in fourth place with $13.6 million for the weekend and $108.5 million in a little over two weeks. The James Wan-directed supernatural thriller is already one of the 10 highest grossing of all-time surpassing “Paranormal Activity” today.  With a budget of only $20 million, its also a huge hit for Warner Bros. and its New Line Cinema division.

Fifth place went to “Despicable Me 2” which charmed another $10.3 million for a massive $326.6 million to date. The Universal Pictures animated blockbuster has already made a jaw-dropping $713.6 million worldwide.

In limited release, “Blue Jasmine” expanded to 50 theaters grossing $2 million with a fantastic $40,000 per screen. The critically acclaimed Woody Allen film has already earned $3 million in just 10 days.  Also having a superb debut was “The Spectacular Now.”  A24’s Sundance acquisition made $200,000 or $50,000 per screen.  “Fruitvale Station” and “The Way Way Back,” now in wide release, each hit $10 million and $13.6 million respectively.

This week’s new releases include “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” and “We’re The Millers” on Wednesday as well as “Elysium” and “Planes” on Friday.