BOX OFFICE: ‘Monsters University’ beats ‘The Heat’; ’White House’ is way down

YOU CAN’T go home again — at least if that home is located at 1600 Penn.

Nearly two decades after Roland Emmerich struck commercial gold by blowing up the president’s address in “Independence Day,” the director hit fool’s-gold this weekend with “White House Down.” Perhaps his federal security detail should have been populated with pixelated monsters — or Melissa McCarthy.


Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) in "Monsters University." (Pixar/AP)

Dan Scanlon’s follow-up to 2001’s “Monsters Inc.” — featuring the returning voices of Billy Crystal (Mike) and John Goodman (Sulley) — has now grossed more than $300-million globally.

Runner-up this weekend was the strong debut of Fox’s “The Heat,” the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy buddy comedy, which grossed $40-million domestically. Bullock’s FBI agent and McCarthy’s detective easily restrained Channing Tatum’s crimefighter in Sony’s “White House Down,” which bombed with just $25.7-million.

Also beating “WHD” was the second weekend of Paramount’s “World War Z”; the Brad Pitt zombie thriller grossed $29.8-million.

Warner Bros./DC’s “Man of Steel” was fifth with a solid $20.8-million.

FUN WITH NUMBERS:

* With a $171-million domestic total so far, “Monsters University” should soon pass both Pixar’s “Toy Story” and “Cars 2” ($191-million each, not adjusting for inflation).

* Emmerich’s “Independence Day” ($50.2-million) had nearly double the debut gross as his “White House Down” (not adjusted for inflation). His biggest opener remains 2004’s “The Day After Tomorrow” ($68.7-million).

* “White House Down” couldn’t even top the year’s other big White-House-under-attack thriller, Antoine Fuqua’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” which in March opened to $30.4-million.

* “The Heat” is the biggest debut of Bullock’s lengthy career, topping even her Oscar-winning “The Blind Side” ($34.1-million).

* By a whisker, this is McCarthy’s second biggest debut ever -- after “Charlie’s Angels” ($40.1-million).

* AND the stat that’s most in jeopardy — via Variety: “Every major studio film that Tatum has toplined since 2011 has gone on to gross more than $100-million at the domestic box office.”

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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