As expected, the weekend box office in the United States was as predictable as a WWE pay-per-view event. We knew Cars 3 would have little trouble speeding ahead of its competition. Despite the expected outcome, however, there were still some stories to be told of this weekend’s winners and losers at movie theaters.
Cars 3 raced past all of its competitors to earn $53.3 million this weekend at the domestic box office. Okay, that number sure isn’t exciting to write about but the Cars franchise isn’t Pixar’s bread and butter at the end of the day. Rather, the Cars franchise has been a powerhouse in merchandising with a wide variety of toys families can buy at retailers. The latest installment, directed by first-time Pixar helmer Brian Fee (a long-time Pixar storyboard artist), opened 19% lower than Cars 2 back in summer 2011. Combined the franchise has grossed well over $1 billion, with Cars generating $462.2 million and Cars 2 finishing with $562.1 million. Cars 3 should have no trouble hanging around for much of the summer, with strong word of mouth and glowing reviews helping sustain a long reign in the top ten – though stranger things have happened this year.
The real story of the weekend isn’t the climax of the Cars trilogy but of Patty Jenkins’ movie that just won’t stop churning. Wonder Woman slid just 30% from last weekend to haul in another $40.7 million. To date the latest in the DC Cinematic Universe has earned an impressive $274.6 million domestic and $297.2 million international for a whopping $571.8 million total gross. The film was produced for a mere $129 million and is well on its way to being a huge win for Warner Brothers this summer. Buoyed by critics and fans, Wonder Woman should have little trouble crossing $700+ million by the end of its theatrical run. In the coming days the Patty Jenkins-helmed actioneer will pass Mamma Mia! as the top-grossing female-directed movie of all time. (Wonder why Joss Whedon is shooting more Wonder Woman-centered scenes for Justice League? Yeah, you know the answer why.)
The biggest surprise of the weekend wasn’t even actually a glitzy big-budget blockbuster. Music video director Benny Boom’s All Eyez On Me surpassed expectations to pull in $27 million domestically. The biopic of the early days of Tupac Shakur was a welcome surprise and trounced a crowded weekend of new releases. The film debuted on what would have been Tupac’s 46th birthday to the date and played to crowds of all ethnicities, from African-American (52%) to Caucasian (22%) to Hispanic (19%). The Lionsgate-produced drama features a soundtrack of early Tupac hits and also centers on his friendship with Jada Pinkett, who has spoken out against the “re-imaging” of her relationship with Shakur.
The Mummy tumbled 56% to fourth place with $13.9 million. The Alex Kurtzman-helmed launch to Universal’s Dark Universe has been very quiet since its release last weekend and mired in controversy, as reports have surfaced that star Tom Cruise had a clause that gave him executive power over the production. While the film is falling fast here in the United States, Cruise fans around the world are still flocking to theaters. Overseas the film has grossed $239 million overall. The Mummy may have recouped its production cost but has a very long way to go to turning a profit for Universal. (Universal should easily cover the spread when Despicable Me 3 launches in theaters in a week and a half at least.)
And, as usual, the other side of the top ten isn’t positive news. Of the four new releases that released on Friday, two may have been hits – but two were flat-out disappointments. 47 Meters Down did managed to open in fifth place with $11.5 million but distributor Entertainment Studios, their very first film release, actually expected their shark thriller to nab closer to $20 million. Even worse was Sony’s female-driven comedy Rough Night. Starring the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, the comedy debuted dismally in seventh place with just $8 million on a $20 million budget. Much like Snatched for 20th Century Fox, this comedy may end up being a blight on Sony’s 2017 film schedule. (They just can’t seem to catch a break, can they?)
Outside of the top ten are two news tidbits about two films still hanging around. Though I expected Dwayne Johnson’s comedic reboot of Baywatch to at least make its budget back, I didn’t foresee the full power of overseas audiences. Baywatch has earned just $55.1 million domestically but impressed with $64.4 million around the globe, earning $119.5 million worldwide against a $69 million budget. I still maintain the film will find an audience on home video but hey, I’ve been wrong before. One movie I haven’t been wrong about, though, is Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. The sequel has been out a month and audiences already have abandoned the follow-up to Prometheus. The movie has made just $72.6 million Stateside but at least $142.3 million globally. Still, with a mere $214.9 million gross against a $97 million budget (and God knows how many millions in marketing), the Alien franchise looks to have a not-so-rosy future.
And yet, the anticipation for Shane Black’s The Predator couldn’t be any higher. But that’s a story to be told next year.
This week will feature just one lone release, and you may have heard of it. On Wednesday Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Night will drop into theaters after a rather aggressive marketing campaign. This summer thus far there’s only been three gigantic blockbusters. Two of those films hail from Walt Disney Studios and the other a treat from Warner Brothers. I find a hard time arguing the runaway winner has been James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2, and even the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean installment has turned a profit for Disney. However, the real surprise remains Wonder Woman and will continue to make a splash in the weeks ahead. The Transformers franchise has been a juggernaut, with the last two installments easily crossing the $1 billion mark. Will Bay’s supposed final outing as director propel The Last Knight to box office gold? Well, we’ll see in just seven days! Until next week Fan Fest fam beat the heat, crank your air conditioners to max, lose yourself to a good Netflix binge, and we’ll catch up next week!
1.) Cars 3 – $53.3 million
2.) Wonder Woman – $40.7 million
3.) All Eyez On Me – $27 million
4.) The Mummy – $13.9 million
5.) 47 Meters Down – $11.5 million
6.) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $8.4 million
7.) Rough Night – $8 million
8.) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – $7.3 million
9.) Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 – $4.9 million
10.) It Comes At Night – $2.6 million