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4th of July Weekend Box Office: Despicable Me 3 On Top as Baby Driver Revs Up and The House Folds

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By Chris Kavan - 07/05/17 at 11:26 AM CT

With the big holiday falling on a Tuesday, it was a long weekend for a lot of people (myself included) and Hollywood was banking on some big-time openings to prop up the essentially five-day weekend. It was a mixed bag with some films coming in under expectations, others coming out on top and at least one certified bomb. So, there were some fireworks but, overall, it was a somewhat tame weekend with, once again, a certain superhero getting most of the attention. That may be the case next week when a web-slinging superhero re-joins the MCU.


The third entry (fourth if you include the Minions spinoff) in Illuminations's popular franchise opened a bit lower than previous entries. In fact, with a $75.4 million weekend opening, Despicable Me 3 came in about $8 million below the second and about $10 million behind studio expectations, especially since they released the film in a record 4,529 theaters. It was also lower than the openings for Minions ($115 million) and The Secret Life of Pets ($104 million). The film also earned an "A-", which is still good, but not as good as the "A" earned by both previous Despicable Me films and Minions. The audience was split evenly between men and women with families making up 66% of said audience and 50% coming in under 13. Still, the film's $80 million budget guarantees it will be fine in the long run and with $112 million overseas it is already sitting pretty with nearly $200 million worldwide. Some people are going to throw around the "franchise fatigue" tag, but this is nowhere near the ballpark of what Pirates 5 and Transformers: The Last Knight has gone through (at least on the domestic front) and internationally it is still going strong. Just because it didn't manage to top the last film doesn't mean its a failure.


On the other side of the spectrum, Edgar Wright enjoyed even greater success than expected with the musically-driven Baby Driver. Wright wasted no time by opening this way back on Tuesday - it made $21 million over the weekend and wound up over $30 million including its early opening. That is by and far the best opening for Wright, blowing away the $10.4 million opening for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The total is also nearing the films $34 million budget it will probably get there when the entire holiday time frame is taken in to account. The film had a most impressive 5.266x weekend multiplier and, while not a record, is still mighty impressive in this day and age. Audiences were happy, giving the film an "A-" cinemascore (a win for an R-rated original film) and that audience was mostly male (55%) with 61% coming in over 25. Amidst a sea of huge big-budget offerings, Wright's original film may be the standout as it could easily top $75 million with a good chance to go even higher. No matter how you slice this one, Baby Driver is going to wind up as one of the best stories of this summer.


To go along with its less-than-impressive opening, Transformers: The Last Knight suffered an expected 62% drop in its second week of release, just barely crawling over the $100 million mark with a $17 million weekend and new $102.1 million total. The film will top the likes of Terminator: Genisys and Independence Day: Resurgence but its $135-$145 million domestic total is only going to raise eyes by how poor it will look in comparison to the other films, especially as this is supposed to kick off a whole new cinematic universe. The film is going much better overseas with China still leading the pack. It has earned $327.8 million internationally for a $$429.9 million. Still, its likely $650 million worldwide total also pales in comparison to the $1 billion plus some of the previous films have made and the future of this once-solid franchise look a bit rockier. We'll see how this affects the up-coming Bumblebee spinoff.


On to a much more rosier outlook. The Juggernaut that is Wonder Woman continues to show off some impressive staying power. With another light drop of 37% in its fifth weekend, Wonder Woman added another $15.7 million, raising its total to $346.2 million (with Monday's totals factored in, it has crossed the $350 million mark). That is the third-best total for a DC film to date and its $360 million overseas total puts its global total at $708 million, enough to crack the top 100 of all time. It was enough to also push the DC franchise over the $3 billion total. We'll have to see how it fares against Spider-Man: Homecoming, but, as it stands, Wonder Woman still has a very real chance of catching up to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($383.3 million) to become the highest-grossing film of the summer. The next weeks will be telling but there is no doubt Wonder Woman is going to win the title of most impressive big-budget movie of not just the summer, but the entire year.

5) CARS 3

Rounding out the top five, Pixars Cars 3 took a nearly 60% hit with a $9.68 million weekend and a new $120.8 million Like so many other unimpressive franchise additions, Cars 3 is taking a bigger tumble than its predecessors. The film will likely top out at around the $150 million mark on the domestic front which, for a $200 million animated title, is not so hot. It's still rolling out quite slowly worldwide, so its international story has yet to be written, but it better hope for some help to justify its cost. I have a sneaking feeling this could be the last we see out of this particular franchise, at least on the big screen.

Outside the top five: It wasn't a full house for The House. The Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler comedy folded with a mere $8.73 million in 6th place. It didn't help that the film drew just a 31% on Metacritic and a weak "B-" Cinemascore among audiences. That is among the lowest opening for Ferrell and as I said, his star power has fallen far since the days of Elf and Old School.

It was better news for Sofia Coppola as The Beguiled added 670 theaters from the four theaters it premiered in last weekend and jumped 1,279.3%, jumping from 22nd to 8th place with $3.16 million and a new $3.48 million total.

Also expanding was the romantic comedy The Big Sick, from five to 71 theaters, jumping 292% from 18th to 12th place with $1.65 million. This one is still going to expand wide on the 14th and we'll see if general audience respond as well as the limited one has.

This week all eyes will be on Spider-Man: Homecoming, mainly because it's going to be the only new wide-release film coming out. It has been getting a lot of positive heat, we'll see how it affects the box office, and Wonder Woman in particular.


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