Two of this week’s new arrivals, Despicable Me 3 and Baby Driver, top the daily box office charts on Thursday, June 29. This summer movie season has been plagued by several high-profile disappointments, with rare bright spots like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman few and far between. However, moviegoers’ fortunes seem to be changing this weekend with the premieres of the aforementioned movies. The former is the latest installment in Illumination Entertainment’s flagship franchise that has been very successful over the course of the decade, while the latter is the newest passion project from fan-favorite auteur Edgar Wright. What’s more, both have scored positive reviews, only adding to their overall appeal.
Though business at the box office should pick up soon with the forthcoming openings of massive tentpoles such as Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes, the relatively dry month of June (save for, of course, Wonder Woman) means there’s ample opportunity for Despicable Me 3 and Baby Driver to do well for themselves before more high-profile blockbusters make their way to the multiplex. And the latest numbers indicate they’re taking advantage of the limited competition.
According to Variety, Despicable Me 3 secured the #1 position on Thursday by making $4.1 million from preview screenings. Right now, projections indicate it will bring in between $90 – 100 million in its first three days domestically, which would be in line with its direct predecessor. The second Despicable Me, which opened on Wednesday, July 3 in 2013, earned $90 million during the same time frame. Though its target family demographic was recently treated to Pixar’s Cars 3, Disney’s threequel essentially came and went without much fan fare, so demand for more of Gru and the Minions should be high as we enter the weekend.
Baby Driver, which officially debuted on Wednesday, June 28, came in second on Thursday with $3.3 million. It grossed a respectable $5.7 million on its opening day and could make as much as $20 million for its first five days. As an original film with no real brand recognition, Baby Driver has an uphill climb to stand out from a summer schedule populated by sequels and shared universes, but its universal acclaim gave it a much needed boost, and casual audiences will want to see what all the buzz is about. There’s a chance Baby Driver emerges as a compelling counter-programming option for viewers interested in something fresh from the typical Hollywood mold and it could have strong legs over the course of its run. Wright will surely have the highest-grossing film of his career here.
This weekend’s other wide release, The House, managed $800,000 from preview screenings last night. Starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as parents who start an underground casino to pay for their daughter’s college tuition, the film has been widely panned by critics and is largely overshadowed by the other movies playing. Though it’s on pace to make $13 – 16 million for its opening weekend, it will be contending with holdovers like Wonder Woman and Transformers: The Last Knight. The DCEU entry in particular continues to do well, becoming the most lucrative offering in the franchise to date. It will be interesting to see how the charts shape up as the weekend progresses, but the Minions will be reigning supreme yet again.
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