New arrivals ruled the box office this Fourth of July weekend, helping a dry summer season bounce back with successful debuts.
Coming in first is Despicable Me 3 (read our review), the fourth overall installment in Illumination's flagship franchise. The film earned $75.4 million in its first three days, which is below expectations heading into the weekend, but still a strong beginning. While that figure is nowhere near the $115.7 million opening of spinoff Minions, it is in the same ballpark as its direct predecessor - Despicable Me 2 ($83.5 million). The reaction was generally positive, though this threequel did not garner the same level of acclaim as earlier entries. That may explain the somewhat diminished returns, as does the fact Despicable Me 3 came out just a couple of weeks after Pixar's Cars 3. The demand for a new family film wasn't as high as it might have been at a different time of the year.
Still, Illumination has to feel good about where things are at. For a high-profile studio release, Despicable Me 3 is moderately budgeted at $80 million, and it has already more than doubled that thanks to the international markets. Its global total is $192.3 million, so the movie is well on its way to earning a profit. What's more is this is the last major animated project coming to theaters for a while, so Despicable Me 3 should have a monopoly over its target demographic for a number of weeks. It may not be able to contend with franchise sequels like Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes, but it's on the right track to be one of 2017's bigger hits.
Debuting in second place is Baby Driver (read our review), the new heist film from fan-favorite writer/director Edgar Wright. Released to universal acclaim, the original film brought in $21 million for the weekend. Since it opened on Wednesday, June 28, its current domestic total is $30 million, meaning Baby Driver will definitely be the highest-grossing film of Wright's career. No doubt, the widespread enthusiasm for this fresh take on a familiar genre gave it a boost to help its appeal, and is should have strong legs throughout its run. Cinephiles are going to want to see what all the buzz is about, and Baby Driver seems like the perfect antidote to big budget tentpoles. It's emerged as a counter-programming option for those looking for a reprieve from genre pictures, so Baby Driver should do well throughout July.
Falling to third is last week's champ, Transformers: The Last Knight. Michael Bay's fifth feature starring the robots in disguise made $17 million, which is a 62 percent decline from its debut. To date, the film has made $102.1 million in the U.S. and is tracking well behind its predecessors. Transformers has fared much better overseas, but the gigantic 82 percent Friday-to-Friday drop in China indicates franchise fatigue may be wider spread than what Paramount initially hoped. With some better-received competition on the horizon, this may be the first time since Revenge of the Fallen the series fails to hit the $1 billion mark.
In fourth is Wonder Woman with $16.1 million. Now the DCEU's most-lucrative offering, the blockbuster has made $346.6 million domestically.
Rounding out the top five is Cars 3. Pixar's latest earned $9.5 million in its third weekend, raising its Stateside total to $120.7 million. This could end up being a rare misfire for the animation powerhouse, given its production budget of $175 million. Worldwide, Cars 3 has grossed just $173.8 million, so Disney really needs the merchandise to sell well in order to make this a worthwhile investment.
The #6 film is new comedy The House (read our review), which stars Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as a married couple who turn their friend's home into an underground casino to pay for their daughter's college tuition. Despite the pedigree of its stars, The House came into theaters with limited fan fare and wasn't highly anticipated. It made $9 million in its first three days, which isn't entirely surprising as it was overshadowed by other new releases and did not score the best reviews.
Coming in seventh is 47 Meters Down, which earned $4.6 million. The shark attack film is now up to $32.5 million domestically.
In eighth is The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola's latest film. It expanded to 674 locations this weekend and made the most of the increased exposure to bring in $3.2 million. To date, the drama has earned $3.5 million domestically.
Tom Cruise's infamous bomb, The Mummy, finished in ninth this weekend with $2.7 million. It is now up to $74.5 million domestically.
Capping off the top 10 is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The fifth installment in Disney's franchise made $2.4 million in its sixth weekend and is now up to $165.4 million in the States.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates -- based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, July 3 -- at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo
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