'The Heat' With McCarthy And Bullock
"The Heat" could beat "White House Down" at the box office. 20th Century Fox

This week at the box office features plenty of variety as the action-heavy “White House Down” faces off with the female-starring comedy “The Heat” as they try to knock “Monsters University” from the top spot. Despite the heavy competition, Pixar’s sequel to “Monsters, Inc.” looks poised to stay No. 1 at the box office.

“Monsters University” is estimated to earn an impressive $44.8 million at the box office, Box Office Mojo reports. The latest Pixar movie has already earned $169.8 million globally at the box office, and, if the weekend’s predictions hold up, the family movie will easily break $200 million. It is still unclear if “Monsters University” can match the $562.8 million collected by “Monsters, Inc.” as “Despicable Me 2,” the other big family movie of the summer, debuts before the Fourth of July weekend.

“White House Down” stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, and their star power has been the focal point of advertising efforts. With Roland Emmerich’s (“Independence Day”) summer track record, the second movie involving a disaster at the White House, the first being “Olympus Has Fallen,” may not have enough to edge out “The Heat,” Box Office Mojo reports. The new comedy stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy and is directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”).

The projected success of “The Heat” is not only due to the popularity of “Bridesmaid” but the lack of competition for the female demographic, Box Office Mojo notes. The site estimates a $42.2 box office for “The Heat” and $38.3 million for “White House Down,” while last week’s second-place finisher, “World War Z,” will slip to fourth, earning an estimated $31.7 million.

Variety estimates a similarly tight race for second place. Although it doesn't give specific numbers, it believes “The Heat” could top “White House Down,” citing advanced ticket sales for the former and mixed reviews for the latter. The industry trade notes that the box office has been overperforming of late, which could give a boost to “World War Z,” making for a pretty heated battle for second place.