Since Pixar started producing CG-animated films with Toy Story in 1995, only 2015’s The Good Dinosaur did not finish in the number one spot during its first weekend in wide release. Cars 3 looks to continue that streak when it closes out the Cars trilogy in about 4,200 theaters this weekend.
According to Deadline‘s projections, Cars 3 will open in the range of high $50 to low $60 million. If that prediction holds, that will be right in the range of where the series has performed so far, as the original film took in $60 million back in 2006 and Cars 2 opened with $66 million back in 2011.
Both previous Cars films have averaged around $200 million in their domestic box-office run, but where the series makes the real money for Pixar is in merchandise sales. The toys, games, clothing, and other items for the series have racked up over $10 billion dollars in retail sales, making the decision to complete the trilogy financially sound. This will be the second completed trilogy for Pixar after Toy Story 3 grossed over $400 million in the Summer of 2010.
Wonder Woman is set to drop to around $35 million in its third weekend, about a 40 percent drop from its $57 million second weekend upset victory over Universal’s The Mummy reboot. That would put Wonder Woman’s domestic total near $250 million, and if these strong holds continue the film has the potential to outgross fellow DC Extended Universe titles Man of Steel and Suicide Squad. Tom Cruise’s action adventure film, on the other hand, is expected to plummet 60 percent to about $13 million, which would put the domestic total somewhere near an unimpressive $50 million.
In fact, for The Mummy to even take the bronze medal for the weekend, it will have to swat away the challenges of three additional wide releases. The biggest challenger will be Lionsgate’s All Eyez on Me, which is expected to earn somewhere in the range of $15-22 million. The Tupac Skakur biopic is tracking well below 2015’s surprise hit Straight Outta Compton, which dominated the month August with a $60 million opening and a $160 million finish, but it is still expected to finish with a decent chunk of change.
Also opening is the Scarlett Johansson-led raunchy comedy Rough Night, which is bring home around $10-12 million but could break out with female adult audiences who are looking for comedy or have already seen Wonder Woman. In a distant also-ran position will be 47 Meters Down, expected to take home a total in the low to mid single digits. The shark-based action film will not even touch the $16 million opening of last year’s The Shallows.