By Chris Kavan - 07/06/22 at 08:13 PM CT
After last week's embarrassment of riches the MPAA Ratings Board slows things down back to normal with a single wide release and two major streaming titles. Meanwhile, over the long 4th of July holiday weekend, The Minions ruled - setting a new record in the process while Top Gun: Maverick continued to soar to new heights.
When Lightyear landed with a relative thud, theories abounded about whether this was a fluke or if families were hesitant to come back to theaters en masse. That question was answered as The Minions: Rise of Gru set a new 4th of July record with a $123 million holiday weekend ($107 million for the traditional weekend), easily passing Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($115.9 million) to take the crown. It turns out that Lightyear was just a mediocre offering and the Despicable Me/Minions franchise was a much bigger draw. The four-day total was just above the $115.7 million the first Minions film brought in and signals that, given something worthy, families are more than happy to return to theaters. It's especially encouraging seeing that Rise of Gru faced stiff competition from strong holdovers including Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis and Jurassic World: Dominion. Minions was good with critics, at 72% Fresh, but even better for audiences, who awarded it an "A" Cinemascore, which should mean good things for its longevity going forward. Yes, Thor: Love and Thunder is likely to steal, er, some of its thunder, but make no mistake, these Minions should hold on strong. It also earned $93.7 million overseas for a worldwide total of of over $200 million. The original Minions managed a $336 million domestic and $1.16 billion worldwide total - we'll see how close Rise of Gru can get to those numbers.
Speaking of going strong, Top Gun: Maverick took barely a hit in its sixth weekend out, dipping a light 12.6% for the weekend, adding another $25.88 million - and $32.25 million for the holiday frame. That gives the high-flying action film a $570.7 million domestic total and it is well on its way to hitting $600 million. Combined with its $544.5 million overseas, it has now earned over $1.1 billion worldwide. It also climbed past The Lion King's $543.6 million to become the 12th biggest domestic release of all time (inflation not withstanding). Maverick seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank - as long as theaters keep showing it, people seem more than happy to show up.
Landing in third place, the biopic Elvis, starring Austin Butler as the iconic entertainer and Tom Hanks as long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker, earned $18.45 million for the weekend - $22.7 million over the holiday - to raise its domestic total up to $71 million. It took a 41% hit but considering this has drawn a decidedly older audience, that's a decent hold. The film is likely to hit at least $100 million with a good chance to go a fair bit higher. It has also earned $46.2 million overseas for a worldwide total of $117.2 million thus far.
In fourth place, Jurassic World: Dominion dipped just under 39% to bring in $16.36 million for the weekend - $19.62 million including the holiday - for a new domestic total of $335.78 million. Despite a rather harsh critical reception, audiences have been more than happy to embrace this seemingly final chapter (at least for now). It has also earned an impressive $492.7 million overseas for a global total of $828.48 million.
Rounding out the top five, horror film The Black Phone scared up $12.24 million (off 48.2%) over the weekend - with $14.16 million over the holiday - for a new total of $49.32 million. It just missed that $50 million milestone, but has surely surpassed that total by now. That hold is actually really good for a horror film and it seems Scott Derrickson has found a nice niche - with a little help from a masked Ethan Hawke to move things along. It has earned $27 million overseas for a worldwide total of just over $75 million.
The period romance drama Mr. Malcolm's List opened in semi-wide release in 1384 theaters with a $810,742 / $1 million holiday debut - good enough for 7th place.
Just outside the top five, Lightyear managed to cross the $100 million mark with a $7.63 million holiday total for a $106.4 million total, still less than what Rise of Gru made on its opening weekend alone.
Next week brings us another summer blockbuster in the MCU's latest Thor: Love and Thunder, which is shaping up to be another huge film for the franchise.
Last week the MPAA Ratings Board gave out an impressive amount of wide-release ratings and made for one of the more stuffed lists of the year. While things have slowed down considerably, at least it hasn't died off entirely.
The wide release this time out is coming up fast and promised to be one of those very dramatic crime/romance/social issues films in Where the Crawdads Sing. The film in based on the best-selling novel by Delia Owens and follows Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones) who is knows as March Girl by the townsfolk of Barkley Cove on the account of her living on her own in the marshlands after being abandoned by her family. Though she is not entirely alone, she does her best to remain apart from the town - which is why when one of the most well-known boys around, Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson) is found dead in the swamp, she is named the prime suspect. But of course there si much more to unravel here and the trailer seems to indicate a quite the disparity surrounding wealth, privilege and race all coming into play. The film also stars Taylor John Smith, Garret Dillahunt, Joe Chrest, David Strathairn, Ahna O'Reilly, Eric Ladin, Michael Hyatt and Bill Kelly among others. This could be one of those awards season contenders depending on how critics and audiences receive it. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some violence including a sexual assault.
On the streaming side of things, Disney+ is keeping things hot with not one but two major titles coming soon. First up, Hocus Pocus 2 is the sequel to the cult favorite starring a trio of witches up to no good - but keeps things solidly family-friendly. Thought the original was a bust in theaters it soon gained quite a following and many now consider it a Halloween classic. This sequel sees all three of the original cast return - Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as Winifred, Sarah and Mary - the child-hungry witches are brought back inadvertently by Becca, Cassie and Izzy (Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham and Belissa Escobedo) and now the three must figure out how to stop the trio from wrecking havoc on their town. Doug Jones, Hannah Waddingham, Tony Hale and Sam Richardson help round out the cast. Like the original, I'm sure this will score points with nostalgic fans and families alike - we'll see how it stacks up to the original this fall. Rated PG for action, macabre/suggestive humor and some language.
The other big title is Robert Zemeckis' live-action version of Pinocchio - not to be confused with the much darker, animated Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio still slated for a December release. This version is much closer to the Disney classic (though updated and probably not nearly as weird) with Tom Hanks playing the kindly Geppetto, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth voicing Pinocchio, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt voicing Jiminy Cricket and Luke Evans, Lorraine Bracco, Keegan-Michael Key, Sheila Atim and Lewin Lloyd helping round out the cast. While this is live action - many of the character will be CGI so we'll see how that works out but Disney has a better-than-average track record when it comes to adapting classic animated films over to live action so I'm at least willing to give this a shot. Rated PG for peril/scary moments, rude material and some language.
Those are the major players this time around but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for language and some sexual content.
Rated PG for thematic content and language.
A GOOD PERSON
Rated R for drug abuse, language throughout and some sexual references.
HOCUS POCUS 2
Rated PG for action, macabre/suggestive humor and some language.
A JAZZMAN'S BLUES
Rated R for some drug use, violent images, rape, brief sexuality and language.
Rated PG for mild thematic elements.
Rated PG for peril/scary moments, rude material and some language.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some violence including a sexual assault.