Weekend Box Office (July 3 - 5, 2015)
THIS WEEKEND A pair of franchise flicks will attempt to set off box office fireworks over the long Independence Day holiday span with studios opening on Wednesday (with Tuesday night pre-shows) to get a headstart on all the moviegoing over the five-day period. The 4th of July falls on a Saturday this year, the worst scenario for Hollywood as outdoor distractions give audiences other options that day. But Friday's observed holiday will give that day a nice boost and moviegoers will have an extended span to find their way to multiplexes to see the new releases, or well-liked holdovers.
Hoping to reach number one is the R-rated stripper sequel Magic Mike XXL headlined by Channing Tatum. Its low-budget predecessor was a sleeper hit in 2012 bowing to $39.1M on its way to a fantastic $113.7M powered by adult women. XXL carries plenty of excitement with the target audience and they should be out in full force, just spread across more days this time. Certainly some of the crowd this time may not feel as excited about a second helping of the same thing and may drop out. But the long holiday weekend is a perfect time for an eye candy popcorn flick like this which plays as a guilty R-rated pleasure.
Tatum has been pushing his new project and his social media following is large and loyal. Reviews are mixed, but those should not hurt too much. People know what they are getting here and the audience is finite. Don't expect many newcomers to this franchise. Now playing in 3,355 locations, Magic Mike XXL could open to about $33M over the weekend and $51M by Sunday night.
A second franchise enters the race too this week. But this one is older, sci-fi, and male-skewing. Terminator Genisys is the fifth film in the series but attempts to make audiences forget about the last two installments which were not all that adored by fans. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back for this ride which presents a new spin on the timeline of the John Connor saga. Die-hard fans of the franchise and of sci-fi action flicks will be coming out, but appeal beyond that is questionable.
Even among mainstream action movie fans, there is not a ton of demand for another chapter in this series. It should be a front-loaded five-day period. Reviews are mostly negative, not surprisingly. Now playing in 3,758 theaters, Terminator Genisys might debut to about $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday span and $46M across the whole long weekend.
After two huge weeks on top, box office behemoth Jurassic World will give up the crown and maybe even fall by a couple of notches. But it still intends on breaking the $550M barrier in record time beating the old champ, The Avengers, by a full week. The weekend may witness a 45% decline putting Universal at about $30M for the frame and bumping the cume to a robust $555M with the global haul soaring close to $1.4 billion.
With no new films for kids and a long holiday frame, Inside Out is well-positioned to outgross the dino-sequel this weekend after spending two weeks in its shadow. Its sophomore hold was terrific and mid-week grosses now that kids are on summer vacation have been sizzling. Add in great word-of-mouth and Disney could see a 35% slide to about $34M this weekend giving it a chance at the top spot. That would boost the domestic tally to a stellar $248M.
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Watch the trailer for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
LAST YEAR Paramount had the fireworks over Independence Day weekend with its action four-quel holdover Transformers: Age of Extinction which remained on top despite a large tumble grossing $37.1M. Melissa McCarthy saw her new comedy Tammy debut in second place with $21.6M over the weekend and $33.3M across the five-day holiday span. Warner Bros. found its way to $84.5M. 22 Jump Street followed with $9.8M in its fourth frame. The horror entry Deliver Us From Evil landed in fourth place opening to $9.7M for the weekend and $15.3M over five days on its way to $30.6M for Sony. How to Train Your Dragon 2 rounded out the top five with $9M.
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 1, 2015 at 1:55PM ET
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