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Weekend Box Office: Finding Dory Nabs Record Opening, Central Intelligence Solid

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By Chris Kavan - 06/19/16 at 07:49 PM CT

Finally, a weekend worth celebrating (even if you aren't Disney) as Finding Dory broke several records in its first place opening. Central Intelligence wasn't a slouch, either, as it took second place with strong numbers of its own. That meant, however, that the high-profile films of last week all took some bigger-than-expected drops - with Warcraft taking the harshest nosedive. In any case, this certainly alleviates some of the lackluster results we have been seeing lately and hopefully means the blockbuster have returned for the summer.

1) FINDING DORY

The biggest question going in to this weekend was whether Finding Dory, the sequel to the much-beloved Finding Nemo, would take the record for biggest animated opening of all time. Well, after a record $9.2 million Thursday opening and another single-day record $54.9 million, Finding Dory did indeed grab the record with a $139.2 million opening weekend, topping the $121.6 Shrek the Third opened with back in 2007. It also holds the new record for largest per-theater-average for an animated opening with a $31,634 per-theater showing. Audiences were obviously happy about the return of Dory and friends, they awarded it an "A" Cinemascore. That audience was mostly families (65%) and 55% female with 32% children 12 and under. With little on the horizon to entice families (The BFG hits July 1st with The Secret Life of Pets drops July 8), Finding Dory should easily swim to $400 million and, depending on its hold, $425, $450 and even $500 million are not outside the realm of possibility. One thing is for certain, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier just barely crossing $400 million this weekend, Finding Dory will soon find itself atop the 2016 movie charts and Disney will have another big win on its hands.

2) CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

With Finding Dory clearly bringing in the younger crowd and families, that left Central Intelligence to grab the leftover adult audiences. It turns out, the counterprogramming move was a good one, as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart managed to draw out a balanced crowd, nab a nifty "A-" Cinemascore in the process and score a second-place finish with $34.5 million. That opening is right along with previous Hart films, opening just above the $33.9 million of Get Hard. And while it couldn't match the $54 million opening of Johnson's San Andreas, it did top the $29 million opening of Hercules. What this comes down to is Central Intelligence is looking at a good shot to hit $100 million domestically, though it all depends on how things play out in the next few (crowded) weekends. In any case, it should be another solid film for both actors and could even spawn a new franchise (ala Ride Along). Critics may not have been impressed as audiences, but that is par for the course on comedies in general and I expect this to hold up just find in the coming weeks.

3) THE CONJURING 2

After a pretty good opening last weekend, The Conjuring 2 played more like a traditional horror film in its second weekend. That meant a pretty hard drop as the horror sequel took a 61.5% hit on its way to a $15.5 million second weekend. That drop is significantly greater than the terrific 46.9% drop from the first Conjuring and is even a bit lower than the 57.3% drop from Annabelle. Yet it's very much in line with horror films in general, which tend to be some of the most front-loaded films around. Still, The Conjuring 2 has already made $71.7 million on a $40 million budget - and another $116.2 million outside the U.S. The film should hit $100 million domestically as well, with at least $250 million globally. With those kind of numbers, I don't think the studio is going to sweat the somewhat larger second-week drop.

4) NOW YOU SEE ME 2

Also taking a significant hit from its opening weekend, was the sequel Now You See Me 2. The film dropped 57% - an increase from the 35% drop the first film took. With a $9.65 million weekend and a new $41.3 million total, the film is also trailing the original film by a large margin as Now You See Me already had $60 million by this point. It won't reach anywhere near the $117 million the first film brought in, it won't even reach half that amount, most likely. Now You See Me 2 will wind up with $65-$70 million and, on a $90 million budget, will have to hope for better success overseas if it hopes to make some money and provide enough fuel for a third entry into this series.

5) WARCRAFT

While second-week drops for The Conjuring 2 and Now You See Me 2 were significant, they were really nothing compared to the massive drop for Warcraft. The MMO-turned-CGI extravaganza film took a whopping 73% hit in its second weekend. That is the third-largest drop for a film playing in over 3000 theaters, behind only the 2009 film Friday the 13th (80.4%) and Fifty Shades of Grey (73.9%). That gives the film just a $37.7 million total after its $6.5 million weekend. That's bad news (domestically) for the $160 million film, which will find it hard to even cross $50 million considering the competition coming up. The saving grace for Warcraft continues to be it excellent foreign numbers where China has bailed it out to the tune of $205 million with an additional $134.9 million in other territories. That means Warcraft has earned $377.6 million, making it the biggest video game movie of all time, surpassing the $336 million total of Prince of Persia. It won't be able to claim that title on the domestic front, but with numbers like that, it's still going to wind up making a decent amount of money and may even manage to get a (I have to think) much lower-budgeted sequel sometime.

Outside the top five: As mentioned briefly earlier, Captain America: Civil War crossed the $400 million mark with a $2.3 million weekend (10th place) and a new $401.2 million total. It is the 23rd film to hit that mark and the fourth Marvel film to do so. It has also earned $1.144 billion thus far worldwide.

Next week looks to be crowded with Independence Day: Resurgence looking to ride the sequel wave to big numbers, Matthew McConaughey gets historical in the war-time drama Free State of Jones and two horror films also drop: Blake Lively vs. a shark in The Shallows and Elle Fanning vs. soul (and youth)-sucking Hollywood in The Neon Demon.

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