Paramount Pictures reports that World War Z had passed the $500 million worldwide gross mark, surpassing Troy’s $497.3 million to become Brad Pitt’s highest grossing film ever. Now, you could argue that WWZ received the benefit of a higher ticket price particularly because of its 3D numbers. But considering how badly maligned this film was in the weeks before it bowed, hitting the half billion dollar plateau seems something to brag about, even for a movie that cost in the $220 million range.
According to Paramount (which co-financed with Skydance and GK Films), WWZ has set several records for Pitt, whose Plan B produced. It set a personal best with a $66 million opening on June 21, and a total $197.4 million in the U.S., both of which exceeded Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s total domestic gross of $186.3 million and $50.3 million opening weekend. The film has earned $305.2 million at the international box office, to date.
This pales in comparison to the numbers put up by Johnny Depp and his Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, but Pitt has done a lot of cool movies that were never meant to be blockbusters, and this was his most mainstream film since Troy and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. He seems happy with hitting a solid double with a Moneyball than playing the tent pole game. Passing the half billion dollar mark begs the question of whether Pitt returns for an encore. The movie was such a giant headache to make that it’s a big question mark, partly because they more or less resolved the crisis with the rewritten and reshot third act after dropping a giant battle scene in Russia that nobody liked. My bet is that Pitt, director Marc Forster and the studio walk away, breathing a sigh of relief that things turned out as well as they did and that they proved a lot of naysayers wrong and that it is sometimes worth chasing a fix on a movie that comes in flawed.