Weekend Box Office (July 10 - 12, 2015)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND The looney toon Minions towered over the competition opening at number one by a mile generating the second largest opening weekend in history for any animated film. Universal's much-hyped kidpic grossed an estimated $115.2M since its debut Thursday night with 6pm pre-shows. Averaging a muscular $26,784 from 4,301 locations, the PG-rated spinoff opened bigger than every past toon except for Shrek the Third's $121.6M from May 2007.

Minions doubled the $56.4M bow of 2010's franchise founder Despicable Me. Its sequel launched on the Wednesday before the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2013 with $143.1M over five days including $83.5M over the weekend portion. The Minions strength showed that audiences were still hungry for another story featuring the bumbling yellow sidekicks even if Steve Carell's Gru character was no longer the central figure. Other toon spinoffs like Puss in Boots and Penguins of Madagascar did not post openings anything close to their prior franchise sequels.

The weekend began with $46.2M on Friday including $6.2M from Thursday pre-shows. Saturday dipped 16% to $39M while Sunday is projected to fall 23% to $30M. A larger Sunday decline would put the weekend in the $110-115M range. After Furious 7 and Jurassic World, three of the four biggest opening weekends of 2015 have come from Universal and all eight of the top debuts for the year have been from either it or Disney. The two studios have dominated the movie industry this year but the Mouse House will be fighting back with next weekend's Marvel pic Ant-Man and the next Star Wars movie arriving in mid-December.

A broad audience showed up for Minions which stormed into multiplexes backed by a tremendous marketing push. 59% of the crowd was female, 55% was under 25, and 55% was non-white. 40% of the crowd was non-family showing how much appeal this picture had as a broad comedy playing to young adults. With an A CinemaScore and not much else for kids coming in July, look for the domestic total to soar past $300M just like Despicable Me 2's did.

Overseas where it got its start earlier, the weekend brought in a mammoth $124.3M from 56 markets including 30 which opened. With $280.5M to date from international territories, Minions stands at $395.7M worldwide and could very well be on its way to joining the billion dollar club. To date, the three Despicable Me films have grossed a massive $1.9 billion.

Summer juggernaut Jurassic World has spent all five of its weekends in the top two positions now. The dino-smash dropped just 38% to an estimated $18.1M giving Universal the gold and silver this weekend. World boosted its domestic cume to a staggering $590.7M and could break the $600M mark by Friday.

Overseas, the monster hit collected an estimated $21.7M this weekend from 65 territories lifting the international haul to $875.2M propelling the global gross to a stunning $1.47 billion. In another week, Jurassic World will surpass Universal's own Furious 7 to become the fourth biggest worldwide blockbuster of all-time. Japan, the final market, is still to open on August 5.

Dropping from first to third place was Pixar's Inside Out which still held up well despite the direct competition from another major animated comedy. The Disney release grossed an estimated $17.1M in its fourth frame, off 43%, raising the cume to $283.6M passing Pixar's last film Monsters University from two summers ago. Inside Out has also banked $151.8M overseas with half of the international marketplace still to come. Worldwide sits at $435.4M with plenty to come as top markets like China, Japan, Germany, and the U.K. have not opened yet.

Down 49% in its second weekend, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator Genisys ranked fourth with an estimated $13.7M still making it the lowest-grossing Terminator sequel ever. With $68.7M after 12 days, the PG-13 flick is running 26% behind the pace of 2009's Terminator Salvation and 38% behind Terminator 3 from 2003. Looking at estimated admissions, Genisys has sold less than half as many tickets as Terminator 3 did from a dozen years ago over the same part of the calendar. A domestic final of just around $100M seems likely.

A tentpole like Genisys was always made with international audiences in mind. An overseas weekend estimate of $47.3M boosted the offshore cume to $156.1M and the global gross to $225M. Unlike in North America, the film is outgunning many recent action and sci-fi hits abroad. After China gets its release, Terminator Genisys could find its way to about $450M worldwide with two sequels already on the calendar for the summers of 2017 and 2018.

The horror entry The Gallows debuted in fifth place with an estimated $10M from 2,720 locations for a mild $3,682 average. Audience demos came out as expected for the R-rated thriller with 52% being female and 53% being under 25. A C grade from CinemaScore puts it in the normal zone for fright flicks.

Stripper sequel Magic Mike XXL posted a solid sophomore hold in part due to its target audience of adult women being heavily distracted last weekend because of holiday activities. The Channing Tatum flick grossed an estimated $9.6M, off only 25%, for a $48.4M total for Warner Bros. Friday continues to be the night this audience is coming out on. A $70M final is possible for the inexpensive $14M production. Off 50% in its third round was Ted 2 with an estimated $5.6M giving Universal $71.6M to date. It will fail to reach nine-digit territory - a rare case for its studio lately.

Audiences showed virtually no interest in the new sci-fi thriller Self/Less which debuted quietly in eighth place with an estimated $5.4M from 2,171 locations for a weak $2,579 average. Released by the rebooted Gramercy label of Focus, the PG-13 film starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley was panned by critics.

The canine film Max took in an estimated $3.4M, off 48%, pushing its total to $33.7M for Warner Bros. Melissa McCarthy scored her fourth $100M+ R-rated comedy hit in as many years with Spy which slipped 42% to an estimated $3M giving Fox $103.5M to date.

Indian films often do well in the North American market, but their distributors rarely report opening weekend estimates on Sundays. Though no official data was reported, the Telugu-language historical epic Baahubali generated a mammoth debut generating somewhere in the area of $4M from Thursday night through Sunday. Touted as India's most expensive film and filled with visual effects, the movie won universal praise from the country's film critics helping to drive excitement. About 170 theaters in North America were playing it with Tamil and Hindi dubs contributing a small portion and the Telugu version seeing the vast majority of the sales. With some venues playing multiple languages the total screen count was over 200. The incredible weekend average was in the $20,000 range.

As is often the case with A-list films from South India, ticket prices were much higher for the premiere shows on Thursday and Friday with many locations charging in the $20 to $28 range per ticket which helped the overall gross swell. By comparison, the largest Bollywood opening weekend ever here was $3.6M from 272 locations last December for Aamir Khan's PK which had standard pricing and not much coming from Thursday pre-shows. Baahubali has been well-received by audiences so it may not erode as quickly as most Indian commercial films do. Given that only a fraction of the Indian-American population speaks Telugu, this opening weekend performance was jaw-dropping - and possibly record-breaking if and when official numbers get reported.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $201.2M which was up 50% from last year when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened at number one with $72.6M; and up 10% from 2013 when Despicable Me 2 stayed in the top spot with $43.9M.

Compared to projections, Minions powered ahead of my $108M forecast. The Gallows opened close to my $12M prediction and Self/Less debuted a bit below my $7M projection.

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Watch the NEW trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final studio figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Ant-Man and Trainwreck both open.

# Title Jul 10 - 12 Jul 3 - 5 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Minions $ 115,718,405 4,301 1 $ 26,905 $ 115,718,405 Universal
2 Jurassic World 18,151,275 29,242,025 -37.9 3,441 5 5,275 590,689,595 Universal
3 Inside Out 17,665,796 29,771,224 -40.7 3,644 4 4,848 284,196,100 Disney
4 Terminator Genisys 13,830,369 27,018,486 -48.8 3,783 2 3,656 68,848,110 Paramount
5 The Gallows 9,808,463 2,720 1 3,606 9,808,463 Warner Bros.
6 Magic Mike XXL 9,582,350 12,857,184 -25.5 3,376 2 2,838 48,301,179 Warner Bros.
7 Ted 2 5,666,310 11,171,520 -49.3 2,171 3 2,610 71,684,895 Universal
8 Self/Less 5,403,460 2,353 1 2,296 5,403,460 Focus
9 Max 3,542,406 6,617,389 -46.5 2,088 3 1,697 33,826,601 Warner Bros.
10 Spy 3,052,681 5,137,677 -40.6 1,457 6 2,095 103,516,203 Fox
11 Baahubali (est) 3,000,000 170 1 17,647 4,300,000 Blue Sky
12 Amy 1,799,780 222,500 708.9 341 2 5,278 2,140,576 A24
13 San Andreas 1,231,228 2,824,063 -56.4 756 7 1,629 150,022,103 Warner Bros.
14 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 661,177 1,246,803 -47.0 570 5 1,160 5,541,967 Fox Searchlight
15 Dope 624,894 1,118,117 -44.1 380 4 1,644 15,480,118 Open Road
16 Mad Max: Fury Road 617,148 1,016,016 -39.3 338 9 1,826 150,253,195 Warner Bros.
17 Avengers: Age of Ultron 455,764 886,151 -48.6 338 11 1,348 455,238,846 Disney
18 Love & Mercy 430,977 742,048 -41.9 294 6 1,466 11,326,741 Roadside Attr.
19 I'll See You In My Dreams 353,054 468,250 -24.6 212 9 1,665 6,451,179 Bleecker St.
20 Pitch Perfect 2 274,060 567,500 -51.7 284 9 965 183,058,230 Universal
Top 5 $ 175,174,308 $ 110,060,439 59.2
Top 10 202,421,515 127,004,488 59.4
Top 20 211,869,597 132,680,132 59.7
Top 20 vs. 2014 211,869,597 145,995,205 45.1

Last Updated: July 12, 2015 at 2:50PM ET

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