Even PIXAR couldn’t avoid the summertime box office blues that have plagued many a-sequel this summer, as domestic audiences have rejected new Jack Sparrow, Alien, King Arthur and Mummy movies. Cars 3, the newest entry in the Cars saga, grossed $53.5 million this weekend, an underwhelming bow that makes it the fifth-lowest opening weekend for a PIXAR movie and only the third PIXAR movie in the 21st century to open below $60 million, which is really disappointing considering Cars 3 is a sequel to an already existing franchise. In terms of 2017 animated fare, Cars 3 can claim to be the biggest animated family movie opening weekend of 2017 as it came in $500,000 ahead of the bow of The LEGO Batman Movie while also ending up 7% ahead of the opening weekend of non-sequel The Boss Baby from this past March. Small thing to note; no animated movie has debuted to over $60 million in America since The Secret Life Of Pets nearly a year ago. Two animated movies (Moana and Sing) have managed to crack $200 million, but 2017 really hasn’t had a mega-animated movie hit yet this year.
What’s behind the disappointing bow for Cars 3? For starters, the smart and memorable marketing campaigns behind a lot of other recent animated Disney fare was not around for this title. Beyond a legitimately clever eye-catching teaser trailer showing the character of Lightning McQueen being destroyed, the rest of the trailers and posters just showed off generic racing sequences that failed to captivate people. To boot, people I talked to in recent weeks seemed shocked the movie was even coming out this past weekend, another sign that Disney’s usually omnipresent marketing wasn’t working. Residual negative feelings over Cars 2 also don’t help things. With Despicable Me 3 on the way, it’d be shocking if Cars 3 exceeded $170 million domestically.
Showing further incredible box office stamina this weekend was Wonder Woman, which grossed an outstanding $41 million this weekend, the eleventh biggest third weekend for any movie in history (it’s the 29th biggest in history when adjusting for inflation, narrowly edging out fellow DC Comics summer blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises!), a tiny 30% dip from last weekend. Wonder Woman has grossed $274.5 million in 17 days of release and has plenty of gas left in the tank. Looks like this one will handily get past Batman v. Superman’s $330 million domestic haul to become the biggest DC Extended Universe movie ever and has a good shot at surpassing Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 as well to become the biggest live-action movie of the summer.
All Eyez On Me, the first new wide release of the summer to star an African-American individual (man, how sad is that?) became a sleeper hit this weekend, grossing $27 million, the second biggest opening weekend ever for a Music biopic and the third biggest opening weekend for a movie starring a rapper. No shocker to see this one open so huge given how massively popular Tupac and his music are to this very day. Sidenote: I bet Open Road Films is just kicking themselves for letting domestic distribution rights on this one go since Lionsgate/Summit now have a nice summertime hit to continue their recent winning streak.
In its second weekend, The Mummy grossed $13.9 million, a 56% drop from last weekend that brought the Tom Cruise headlined remakes domestic gross to $56.5 million. This one looks like it’ll top out at $80 million domestically, especially since Transformers: The Last Knight will suck up all audiences looking for blockbuster fare starting Wednesday, but the biggest question here is if it’ll manage to be only the fourth American movie in history to make under $100 million domestically yet gross over $400 million worldwide. With $295 million worldwide in just ten days, $400 million worldwide could be in reach for the Alex Kurtzman-directed title.
Opening above expectations was 47 Meters Down, which grossed $11.5 million, which is about 14% ahead of the $10.1 million opening weekend of Piranha 3D seven years ago and the seventh biggest opening weekend for one of these terror in the water movies. Given the dearth of horror and/or thriller fare in the marketplace, no shocker to see this under-the-radar title turn up solid box office, though it’s C CinemaScore indicates it likely won’t last long in the marketplace. Interestingly, for Mandy Moore, this is her third-biggest opening weekend for a live-action movie, only behind A Walk To Remember’s $12.1 million debut and the $13.1 million bow of Because I Said So.
Real quickly, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales got a small Father’s Day boost this weekend, going down only 21% to gross another $8.4 million, bringing its domestic cume to exactly $150 million. This one looks like it’ll end its domestic gross in between $165 and $170 million, which is way below its predeccesors, though at least it didn’t fall as hard from past movies like other recent summer blockbuster sequel duds like last years Independence Day sequel and that $500 million overseas is nice.
The big box office dud of the weekend was Rough Night, which continued Scarlett Johansson’s bumpy year at the box office in 2017 after Ghost In The Shell became a massive box office dud. Rough Night only grossed $8.1 million, which, even on a more restrained $20 million budget, is not a good debut, especially given the limited international appeal of the project. In terms of Scarlett Johansson opening weekends, this one even debuted below the $8.6 million bow of Don Jon and the $8.2 million opening of The Other Boleyn Girl. To boot, Rough Night also got a not-so-good response from audiences (only a C+ CinemaScore), so expect Rough Night to vanish quickly, especially once new comedy The House premieres in two weeks.
Onto the holdovers now (though we’ve got another notable new release yet to talk about!), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie held on decently in the face of a new PIXAR movie, grossing $7.3 million, a 39% drop from last weekend, bringing its domestic cume to a tepid $57.9 million. Also benefitting from Father’s Day was Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, which eased down 21% to gross another $4.9 million for a domestic gross of $374.8 million, putting this one on track for a final domestic cume of $385 million. Rounding out the top ten was It Comes At Night, plummeting 56% to gross an additional $2.6 million, for an $11.1 million domestic total. Right behind that horror film was another one of last weekend’s new releases, Megan Leavey, which grossed another $2.3 million (a 39% drop from last weekend) for a current domestic total of $8.1 million, putting this one on track to become only the second title from Bleecker Street (following Eye In The Sky) to exceed $10 million domestically.
The Book Of Henry debuted in 579 theaters this weekend to the tune of a middling $1.4 million for a per-theater average of $2,431. Considering I saw next to no marketing for this title, I’m a little shocked it didn’t perform worse.
Minor arthouse sleeper hit Paris Can Wait expanded to 447 theaters this weekend and ended up grossing $743,751 for a per-theater average of $1,664. This Elanor Coppola movie has now grossed $3.2 million domestically, a solid total for the title and it might even be able to exceed $5 million domestically when all is said and done. Beatriz At Dinner showed solid strength this weekend as it expanded to 77 theaters and grossed $715,047 for a per-theater average of $9,286, good results that bode well for its wide release expansion this coming weekend. In its second weekend, My Cousin Rachel went down 45% to gross another $535,000 for a 10-day domestic total of $1.9 million. The Hero fared so-so in 27 theaters, grossing $135,646 for a per-theater average of $5,024 and a 10-day domestic total of $195,539. Finally, Maudie premiered this weekend in 4 theaters and fared alright, grossing $49,842 for a per-theater average of only $12,461.
The Top 12 movies this weekend grossed a total of $182.1 million, a strong total for a mid-June weekend that also serves as the third biggest twenty-fourth weekend of any given year.