Weekend Box Office (July 1 - 3, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND The Independence Day frame was ruled by the smash hit sequel Finding Dory which remained on top for a third time grossing an estimated $41.9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The Disney-Pixar juggernaut declined by 43% and boosted its domestic total to a stellar $372.3M. It hopes to crush the quadruple century mark by the end of the week. Global stands at a mammoth $538M with many top markets still to come.
Leading the new releases with a strong start was the adventure film The Legend of Tarzan with an estimated $38.1M opening weekend over three days. Warner Bros. averaged a muscular $10,709 from 3,561 theaters and drew in audiences despite lackluster reviews from critics. It was also based on a property that is not all that much in demand right now. But Tarzan carries a hefty production cost so a strong global performance will be needed.
Studio data showed that the PG-13 film had great cross-gender appeal as the male/female split was nearly even at 49/51. 10% of the gross came from IMAX screens and a good A- CinemaScore bodes well for the road ahead.
The Purge: Election Year also displayed strength during its opening session bowing in third place with an estimated $30.9M which is three times its $10M production budget. The R-rated sequel averaged a sturdy $11,041 from 2,796 locations. Universal kept interest alive for the third chapter in the lucrative series as the debut for Election Year was about even with the opening of the last pic, Anarchy, which premiered to $29.8M two years ago in July. Studio data showed that the audience this weekend was 65% under 25, 75% non-white, and 53% female.
Opening to weaker results, but carrying a much larger budget, was Steven Spielberg's The BFG with an estimated $19.6M from 3,357 sites for a decent $5,834 average. Consumer interest was not too high for this PG-rated offering and the marketplace is already filled with other options for kids. July features more kidpics so the path ahead will be challenging even though those who see the film are liking it. Low-brow often beats high-brow when it comes to kid movies over summer vacation.
Tumbling 60% to an estimated $16.5M in its second weekend was Independence Day: Resurgence which clearly was not one of the top choices for moviegoers over the Fourth of July holiday this year. Fox has banked $72.7M to date and could be headed for a $110-120M finish which would be less than half the gross of its 1996 predecessor despite tickets costing twice as much today.
The action-comedy Central Intelligence dropped only 32% to an estimated $12.3M for a cume of $91.8M for Warner Bros. It should cross the century mark next weekend. The shark attack hit The Shallows followed with an estimated $9M in its second weekend, off 46%, for a $35.3M sum. Sony's $17M pic should end at about $55-60M.
Down 45% in its sophomore frame was the slave drama Free State of Jones with an estimated $4.1M. STX has grossed only $15.2M and is heading to a final of around $25M. Scary movies have been quite popular this summer and the hit sequel The Conjuring 2 placed ninth with an estimated $3.9M, down 50%, for a $95.3M cume for Warner Bros. Rounding out the top ten was fellow sequel Now You See Me 2 which fell 47% to an estimated $3M putting Lionsgate at $58.7M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $179.3M which was up 41% from last year when Inside Out rose to number one with $29.8M in its third weekend; and up 55% from 2014 when Transformers: Age of Extinction stayed in the top spot with $37.1M.
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Watch the NEW trailer for Star Trek Beyond.
Be sure to check back on Tuesday for final four-day holiday figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Secret Life of Pets and Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates both open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: July 3, 2016 at 2:20PM ET
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