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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Despicable Me 3’ and ‘Baby Driver’ Open at the Top

Despicable Me 3
Universal

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Edgar Wright fans: did the filmmaker’s action-packed Baby Driver score big with audiences? Or does this weekend belong to sequels, sequels, and more sequels? This weekend was always going to belong to Despicable Me 3— it’s a big hit with the kiddos, don’t you know— but there’s definitely some room for optimism in how the rest of the weekend Top 10 shook out. Here’s the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Despicable Me 3 $75,410,275 $16,651 $75,410,275
2 Baby Driver $21,000,000 $6,510 $21,000,000
3 Transformers: The Last Knight $17,000,000 (-62%) $4,114 $102,103,351
4 Wonder Woman $16,100,000 (-35%) $4,730 $346,644,475
5 Cars 3 $9,524,000 (-60%) $2,663 $120,714,099
6 The House $9,000,000 $2,872 $9,000,000
7 The Beguiled $3,259,740 (+1,321%) $4,836 $3,579,188
8 The Mummy $2,785,260 (-54%) $1,583 $74,502,100
9 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $2,411,000 (-55%) $1,440 $165,466,587
10 All Eyez on Me $1,880,000 (-67%) $1,494 $42,732,463

As always, let’s start with the new releases. In first place this week  —  and finishing with more than triple the domestic box office of any other movie in the Top 10  —  is Despicable Me 3, which opened to $75 million. That number comes in a bit below both Despicable Me 2 and the standalone Minions movie, but with an estimated budget of around $75 million, this film’s $192 million worldwide gross in its opening weekend already means the film can be regarded as a success. As usual, how well this film will do can be determined by it staying power at the box office, but we have an interesting example of that in the franchise’s own history. Minions opened with nearly $30 million more than Despicable Me 2 at the box office, despite the latter opening on a Wednesday; and yet, when all was said and done, Despicable Me 2 earned nearly $30 more at the domestic box office. Are we looking at a solid opening and a quick collapse? Or will the film continue to impress in subsequent weekends? We’ll find out soon enough.

In second place this week is Baby Driver, which pulled in about $31 million over its 5-day opening and $21 million in its first weekend, both easily the best numbers of director Edgar Wright’s career. Since Baby Driver only cost Sony about $34 million to make, Wright has already broken even on his film worldwide, a pretty big improvement on his only other non-Cornetto Trilogy release, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Despite that film’s status as a cult classic now, Scott Pilgrim failed to earn back its budget, so there has to be some relief among Wright’s fans who were a little worried that his latest feature may not break through to mainstream audiences. With excellent reviews and an internet full of advocates, Baby Driver could also feature a gradual decline on its way to solid box office numbers. No bombs here, thank goodness.

The final new release to place this weekend was The House, which only opened to $9 million in sixth place. That’s a slightly bigger opening than June’s disappointing Rough Night, but it also points to an increasingly disappointing summer for R-rated comedies. For comparison’s sake, this is the 28th-worst opening of Will Ferrell’s career, slotting just between his easily forgettable Saturday Night Live spinoffs A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar, not exactly the kind of numbers Warner Bros. was looking for when they dropped $40 million on the comedy. While the film featured a few good trailers, the RottenTomatoes scores for this one were particularly bad, hovering around the mid-teens, and I’m sure we’ll see a handful of think-pieces come Monday morning reminding us that RottenTomatoes is killing the film industry. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of a moritorium Variety or The Hollywood Reporter put together on Will Ferrell’s drawing power at the box office after this one.

The rest of the films are familiar faces, but there’s still a few interesting stories worth sharing in the mix. In fourth place this weekend was Transformers: The Last Knight, which dropped an above-average amount at the domestic box office but is already up above $429 million worldwide thanks to strong numbers internationally. Then again, by its second weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction had already grossed $400 million on the international market alone, so it’s hard to pitch this as a winner on anything other than just a volume game. Oh, but speaking of winners, Wonder Woman continues to gently float its way down the charts, earning $16 million in its fifth weekend en route to a fourth-place finish. As we noted earlier this week, Wonder Woman has already surpassed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to become the highest-grossing domestic entry in the DCEU, and it should soon pass Suicide Squad at the worldwide box office as well ($700 million against $745 million). Wonder Woman is basically putting on a clinic right now as to how you can keep audiences engaged during a long theatrical run, and hopefully, the executives at Warner Bros. have taken notice.

In fifth place with $9.5 million is Cars 3, the third and (now probably) final entry in Pixar’s Cars franchise. On the one hand, Cars 3 has now broke $120 million at the domestic box office. That’s good! But there’s still those nagging little details about how it cost $175 million to make and has baaaaaarely broken even at the global box office. That’s not good! By its third week in theaters, Cars 2 had pulled in $121 million at the international box office, while the third installment is estimated to gross only about $53 million. This is how you make up a studio’s mind about whether they should continue with a franchise or not. In seventh place this week is 47 Meters Down, which pulled in $4.6 million for a domestic total of $32.5 million. That pushed 47 Meters Down past 2004’s indie breakout Open Water in the category of shark attack movies, which means that the $5 million dollar film has now done six-times its budget at the box office. Success means different things for different studios.

In eighth place with $3.2 million this weekend is The Beguiled, which expanded aggressively over the weekend  —  adding 670 theaters  —  and managed to maintain a per-theater number equivalent to that of Wonder Woman. The rolling releases and a pretty wide range of successes (and smaller successes) of Sofia Coppola’s releases make it hard to figure out where this film will end up, but it’s already on pace to eclipse The Bling Ring at the box office as soon as next week. In ninth place is The Mummy, which earned $2.7 million and has now grossed $74.5 million domestically and $349 million worldwide. We’ll see if that’s enough to encourage Universal to move forward with its Dark Universe. Finally, in 10th place this weekend is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which grossed $2.4 million in (what has to be) its final weekend in the Top 10. $165 million domestically and $543 million worldwide? So many iffy blockbusters seem to be floundering in that 4–1 foreign/domestic ratio these days. Someone smarter than myself will need to figure out what that means for the industry in the long run.


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