LOS ANGELES — Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy brought "The Heat" against Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx at the box office.

The Fox action-comedy starring the funny ladies as mismatched detectives earned $40 million in second place in its opening weekend, topping the $25.7 million debut haul of Sony's "White House Down," according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Disney-Pixar animated prequel "Monsters University" remained box-office valedictorian in its second weekend, earning $46.1 million in first place.

As for "The Heat," employing two female leads to buck the male-dominated buddy-cop formula paid off in ticket sales.

"I think the fact that we have a female-centric movie standing out in a forest of giant tent-pole movies is phenomenal," said Chris Aronson, Fox's president of domestic distribution. "Audiences really responded. We positioned this to be a female event movie, and we got the opening that we were hoping for this weekend."

"White House Down," which features Tatum as a wannabe Secret Service agent and Foxx as the President of the United States of America, was inaugurated below expectations in fourth place. The film's White House takeover plot is strikingly similar to FilmDistrict's "Olympus Has Fallen," which opened in March and starred Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart.

"It turned out to be a very competitive weekend," said Rory Bruer, Sony's president of worldwide distribution. "We had hoped `White House Down' did better, just from the standpoint that we love this film, but I feel very hopeful that with the July 4th holiday coming up, it will be the perfect film for audiences, and it'll really add up for us."

Meanwhile, Paramount's "World War Z" took another bite out of the box office in its second weekend domestically with $29.8 million. Overseas, the globe-trotting zombie thriller starring Brad Pitt cleared $70.1 million in 51 territories.

"I think the variety of films is what brought people out to the movie theaters," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "There's a G-rated movie at the top of the chart and an R-rated movie in second place. That says a lot about the summer marketplace and how a unique slate of films can propel the box office."

"Man of Steel" is still flying high in its third week, coming in fifth place with $20.8 million in North America and $52.2 million in such international markets as Australia, Sweden and China. The Warner Bros. retelling of Superman's origin passed the $500 million mark on Saturday.

Overall, Dergarabedian said revenue and attendance are now both down just 2 percent over last year, and this weekend's films grossed 8.5 percent less than last year when Universal's "Ted" opened with $54.4 million at the box office. He said those numbers could shift further next week when Disney's "The Lone Ranger" and Universal's "Despicable Me 2" debut.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. "Monsters University," $46.1 million ($44.2 million international).

2. "The Heat," $40 million.

3. "World War Z," $29.8 million ($70.1 million international).

4. "White House Down," $25.7 million ($6.8 million international.)

5. "Man of Steel," $20.8 million ($52.2 million international).

6. "This Is the End," $8.7 million.

7. "Now You See Me," $5.5 million ($5 million international).

8. "Fast & Furious 6," $2.4 million ($6.1 million international).

9. "Star Trek: Into Darkness," $2 million ($2 million international).

10. "The Internship," $1.4 million ($3.6 million international).

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Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "World War Z," $70.1 million.

2. "Man of Steel," $52.2 million.

3. "Monsters University," $44.2 million.

4. "Despicable Me 2," $41.5 million.

5. "The Hangover Part III," $7.7 million.

6. "Fast & Furious 6," $6.1 million.

7. "Epic," $5.1 million.

8. "Now You See Me," $5 million.

9. "The Internship," $3.6 million.

10. "The Great Gatsby," $3.3 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at . http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang

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  • Channing Tatum Jamie Foxx

    FILE - In this undated publicity photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Channing Tatum, left, and Jamie Foxx, center, star in Columbia Pictures' "White House Down," directed by Roland Emmerich. (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reiner Bajo)

  • Jamie Foxx

    FILE - In this undated publicity photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Jamie Foxx stars in Columbia Pictures' "White House Down," directed by Roland Emmerich. (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Nic Wright, Joey King and Channing Tatum in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows Maggie Gyllenhaal in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows Channing Tatum in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows Jamie Foxx, left, and Channing Tatum in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows Channing Tatum in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, left, in a scene from "White House Down." (AP Photo/Sony Columbia Pictures, Reiner Bajo)

  • Roland Emmerich To Go W/ Derrik Lang Story

    In this Tuesday, June 18, 2013 photo, Roland Emmerich. director of the film "White House Down," poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. The action-packed film starring Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States of America and Channing Tatum as his impromptu bodyguard releases Friday, June 28, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Roland Emmerich

    In this Tuesday, June 18, 2013 photo, Roland Emmerich. director of the film "White House Down," poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. The action-packed film starring Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States of America and Channing Tatum as his impromptu bodyguard releases Friday, June 28, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Roland Emmerich

    In this Tuesday, June 18, 2013 photo, Roland Emmerich. director of the film "White House Down," poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. The action-packed film starring Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States of America and Channing Tatum as his impromptu bodyguard releases Friday, June 28, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Channing Tatum attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Channing Tatum attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Channing Tatum attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Maggie Gyllenhaal attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: The cast and producers of 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Maggie Gyllenhaal attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

  • "White House Down" Washington DC Premiere

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Brad Fischer, (L), Jamie Vanderbilt and Harald Kloser (R) attend 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Jamie Foxx attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Channing Tatum attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Channing Tatum, (L), Jamie Foxx, (C) and Roland Emmerich, (R) attend 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Maggie Gyllenhaal attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Maggie Gyllenhaal attends 'White House Down' Washington DC Premiere at AMC Georgetown on June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)