Box Office Prediction: Despicable Me 3 vs. Baby Driver

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Transformers: The Last Knight's opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of June 30 - July 2, 2017.

This weekend, Despicable Me 3 opens in 4,529 locations, Baby Driver plays in 3,226 theaters, and The House debuts in 3,134 locations.

#1 - Despicable Me 3

The easy choice for first this weekend is Despicable Me 3 (read our review), which is the latest installment in Illumination Entertainment's popular franchise. To date, the animation powerhouse has released two mainline films and a spinoff in the form of Minions, and all entries have been successful. Back in 2013, Despicable Me 2 grossed $368 million domestically, and Minions wasn't far behind at $366 million. This particular property seems to have more appeal than Pixar's Cars 3, meaning it will be in good position for a strong showing even though the family demographic just had a new animated film a couple weeks ago. Thanks to a visible marketing campaign, awareness is high, and it's safe to say anything with the adorable Minions will sell well to general audiences.

Despicable Me 3 also scored mostly positive reviews, with many pundits feeling it has the right amount of heart and humor to keep fans interested - even if it doesn't break new ground for the franchise as a whole. That word-of-mouth will make it a good option for parents looking to keep their kids occupied over the weekend. Projections have it pegged for around $89 million in its first three days, though some reports indicate a debut that is a little higher. Regardless, the Despicable Me brand is as strong as ever and will rule the box office this Independence Day.

Despicable Me 3

#2 - Baby Driver

Our pick for second is Baby Driver (read our review), the latest film by fan-favorite writer/director Edgar Wright. Though he has the loyal support of many cinephiles, Wright has never been much of a commercial draw. To date, his highest-grossing film is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which earned just $31.5 million back in 2010. His Cornetto trilogy (consisting of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End) likewise were destined for cult status, barely making an impact financially. However, with Baby Driver, Wright seems to have broken out into the mainstream and should have a bona fide hit on his hands.

Buzz has been building ever since the film premiered at festivals earlier this year, and the verdict is Baby Driver is an exhilarating moviegoing experience that should be seen on the big screen. That word-of-mouth might encourage those who weren't already onboard with it (i.e. casual audiences) to check it out - if only to see what the hype is about. A slick, stylish, and original heist film, Baby Driver could also strike a chord for people looking for a break from the typical big-budget summer fare. Because it opened on Wednesday, the film's intake for the three-day weekend may take a small hit (as viewers interested may have already seen it), but it's poised to have a fruitful debut. Tracking suggests $20.5 million for Friday-Sunday and $32 million for the first five days.

#3 - Transformers: The Last Knight

Look for last week's champ, Transformers: The Last Knight (read our review), to slide to third in its second weekend. Paramount's cash cow is starting to show signs of franchise fatigue in the United States, as this fifth installment posted the lowest-debut the series has seen with $68.4 million in its first five days. While it's doing very well worldwide, the movie is struggling domestically and should have an uphill climb with some high-profile new releases coming out. The reviews for both Despicable Me 3 and Baby Driver are much more positive than Transformers, so casual viewers have no real incentive to spend more time with Optimus Prime. Tentpoles like The Last Knight typically see a noticeable decline in their second weekend, and Transformers 5 should be no different.

#4 - Wonder Woman

Coming in fourth should be Wonder Woman (read our review), which came in second last week with $24.9 million. The latest installment in the DC Extended Universe continues to perform very well at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing installment in the series. It's had quite the run for itself, but after nearly a month in theaters, it's going to cool off a bit before the next wave of franchise sequels comes in.

#5 - Cars 3

Rounding out the top five should be Cars 3 (read our review). Pixar's newest film made $24 million last weekend, falling from first to third place in its second weekend. It's apparent there isn't much interest in what has always been a tough sell for the animation giant, and with the arrival of Despicable Me 3, the demand will only go down. There may not be a Cars 4 if this keeps up.

Last Week's Recap

Our Picks:

  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Cars 3
  • Wonder Woman
  • All Eyez On Me
  • The Mummy


  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Wonder Woman
  • Cars 3
  • 47 Meters Down
  • The Mummy

Next Week: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Despicable Me 3, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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