In holdover news, The Secret Life of Pets pulled in a solid $50.56 million gross to top its second weekend, a drop of 51% from last weekend’s $104m debut. Not only did it have a smaller drop and a bigger second weekend than Minions, it crossed the $200m mark in just ten days, or one day more than last year’s Illumination offering.
So yeah, it’s basically playing about as well as the Despicable Me spin-off without the franchise advantage. Once again, Illumination is arguably now a brand. And they are now certainly about to score their third-straight $300 million domestic grosser. Universal/Comcast Corp. is opening the film slowly overseas (a bunch of territories in August), but it has already earned $254m global, or about 3.4x its $75m budget.
The Legend of Tarzan earned $11.12 million on its third weekend (-47%) to bring its domestic total to $103.05m thus far. David Yates’s pricey Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. offering is holding pretty well and should hit $125m by the end. Once again, had it been a bit cheaper, this would be an honest-to-goodness hit instead of a “coulda been worse” offering. The film has earned $193.65m worldwide thus far against a $180m budget. So the question is: Will audiences show up in three years for a (cheaper) sequel?
Pixar’s Finding Dory is still going strong, with $11.04 million on its fifth weekend (-46%). The animated sequel, which is already the biggest domestic grosser of the year, has now earned $445.5m. That means, as of today, Walt Disney’s Finding Dory has bested the $441m domestic total of DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2 to become the biggest-grossing animated feature ever in North America.
Yes, there are some asterisks (inflation, a 3D bump, etc.), but it’s still an impressive achievement. It’s falling faster than Toy Story 3 and Inside Out, but that just means it might not hit $500 million domestic. It isn’t quite burning up the overseas box office yet, with a $276m foreign and $721m worldwide. Still, a hit is a hit is a hit even if Illumination > Pixar worldwide. That’s a conversation for another day.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates earned $7.5 million on its second weekend, which is a lousy 56% drop. The Zac Efron/Anna Kendrick/Adam Devine/Audrey Plaza comedy has now earned $31.32m in ten days.Hopefully, the 20th Century Fox release can leg it to $45m. To be fair, it wasn’t all that good, as much as I like everyone involved, and it also only cost around $35m to produce. The real story, once again, will be overseas.
The Purge: Election Year doesn’t need overseas numbers to make it a hit. The horror sequel snagged a $6.07m weekend (-51%) and $71m 17-day cume. Yeah, the Universal/Comcast Corp. release has already passed The Purge ($64m) and will soon pass the $71m cume of The Purge: Anarchy as it makes a run at $85m. Throw in $7m overseas while you’re at it. The Blumhouse/Platinum Dunes sequel set to be one of the biggest grossing documentaries ever. That’s a joke… I hope.
If I can skip around a little bit, Warner Bros./New Line’s The Conjuring 2 has crossed $200 million overseas which, combined with its current $101m domestic total, puts it over the $300m mark worldwide. That makes it just the third such R-rated horror film to do that, behind The Conjuring ($317m) and Hannibal ($350m).
Speaking of WB/NL, Central Intelligence earned $5.3 million (-34%) on its fifth weekend, giving the Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart comedy a $117m cume.The $50m comedy is being distributed by Universal where it has collected an additional $63m thus far for a $180m cume.
Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is… sigh… well, at least it’ll make more than Munich. Although Munich is one of his best movies, so that doesn’t cheer me up. The Walt Disney fantasy, which you should damn well see in a theater if you know what’s good for you, earned $3.74 million on its weekend (-52%) on 2,182 screens (-1,210) and a $47.33m cume. The $140m fantasy has earned $64.4m worldwide thus far.
Independence Day: Resurgence made $3.45 million on its third weekend (-55%) as it started to shed screens for a $98.5m cume. It’ll cross $100m sometime next week, a hollow victory indeed even as it’s over $315m worldwide (plus whatever it got this weekend). The Shallows is sadly losing screens too, and we can only wonder if the little leggy shark thriller might have had even longer legs in a time when it could have stuck around a bit longer. The Blake Lively film will earn around $2.9m (-38%) on 1,695 screens for a $51.3m cume.
Now You See Me 2, which just spawned a Chinese language spin-off (more on that next week I hope), earned $700k (-48%) for a $63.55 million domestic total. The $90m sequel made around $94m in China alone, giving it a face-saving $241m worldwide. Ironically, had they kept the budget at around the same $75m that they spent on the original, this would be a “triple your budget” hit. But it isn’t getting to $270m worldwide, so it now qualifies as something of a disappointment. Oh well, it’s just a reminder that we can’t treat China as the great savior for U.S. blockbusters.
Also of note, Hunt for the Wilderpeople expanded to 156 theaters this weekend and earned $563,325 for the effort, giving Taika Waititi’s wonderful comic adventure a $1.464 million. Seriously folks, if this picture is playing anywhere near you, go see it as soon as you can. Matthew McConaughey’s Free State of Jones crossed $20m this weekend as it departs theaters and Captain Fantastic expanded to 36 theaters for a $277k for a $406k cume. Finally, the quirky, offbeat, but not entirely satisfying Swiss Army Man earned $262k on 228 screens for a new $3.7423m cume. It’s obviously wrapping up, but a $4m cume counts as a win for A24 for this kind of thing.