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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Cars 3’ Dethrones ‘Wonder Woman’

It’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the world, which means it’s time for your weekend box office updates! While this was a disappointing weekend overall for a handful of new releases, there’s good news to be had: after a disappointing $144 million total gross last weekend, the box office bounced back to $187 million total over the past few days. That takes some of the pressure off Wonder Woman to, you know, save the summer blockbuster as we know it. Here’s the totals as of Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Cars 3 $53,547,000 $12,582 $54,547,000
2 Wonder Woman $40,775,000 (-30%) $10,148 $274,601,730
3 All Eyez on Me $27,050,000 $10,947 $27,050,000
4 The Mummy $13,916,010 $3,450 $56,526,710
5 47 Meters Down $11,500,000 $5,066 $11,500,000
6 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $8,458,000 (-21%) $3,066 $150,066,114
7 Rough Night $8,040,000 $2,543 $8,040,000
8 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie $7,350,000 $2,476 $57,963,660
9 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $4,982,000 (-21%) $2,748 $374,853,015
10 It Comes at Night $2,616,600 (-56%) $1,068 $11,139,764

As always, let’s start with the new releases. In first place this week is Pixar’s Cars 3, grossing $53.5 million with domestic audiences. That’s a little down from Cars and Cars 2  —  which opened to $60 and $66 million, respectively  —  and a bit below the $55 to $65 million opening some predicted, but a little lag is to be expected coming off what is widely considered the weakest movie in Pixar’s oeuvre. Perhaps more disappointing for the studio is the international numbers: while the domestic numbers are roughly on par with Cars 3’s predecessors, the international numbers are considerably weaker. Cars 2 opened to $42 million at the international box office, while Cars 3 is on pace to only pull in $21 million around the world. Don’t forget, the budget for Cars 3 is estimated at around $175 million, so success for these films isn’t measured the same way it would be for, say, Captain Underpants. The stakes are very high, and these numbers have to disappoint Pixar executives.

In third place with $27 million this weekend is All Eyez on Me, the Tupac Shakur biopic. Despite the film owning Friday night this week, Lionsgate insiders have always maintained that their movie would open in the $25 to $29 million range, and wouldn’t you know it? They split the difference and pretty much hit the nail on the head. All Eyez on Me wasn’t an overly cheap film to make  —  its budget has been estimated in the $40 to $45 million range  —  so making back a good chunk of its cost in the opening weekend has to be a big relief for the studio. For comparison’s sake, the 2009 Notorious biopic cost half as much to make and grossed $26 million in its opening weekend, so as usual, we’ll have to see how the movie does going forward to get a sense of its full potential.

In fifth place this week with $11 million this weekend is 47 Meters Down, the Mandy Moore-starring sharksploitation film. It’s easy to compare this movie to The Shallows given that they are both aiming for that intersection of fun and cheap, but The Shallows was a bit of a critical darling  —  not to mention one of the best-marketed films of the decade  —  and managed to blow past its budget in its opening weekend. How much Entertainment Studios spent on 47 Meters Down is still an unknown, but I’ll hazard a guess that the film didn’t cost more than The Shallows’ $17 million budget, so this is probably a solid win for the studio and its stars. As I’m fond of saying, not every movie needs to have huge profit margins to make a difference on the books, so as long as 47 Meters Down wasn’t secretly a $50 million film, things look good. Sorta wish they’d held the film for another month and released it during shark week, though.

Things are less rosy for Rough Night, which finished the weekend in seventh place after only grossing $8 million (compared to a budget of $20 million). We’ve seen a string of adult comedies underperform so far this year; a few days ago, some pundits were suggesting that Rough Night could gross $20 million in its opening weekend, but the movie failed to hit even half that number. Despite the film’s incredible cast, Rough Night seems like it’ll be a movie that struggled to break even, which will no doubt cause some folks to pen articles questioning Scarlett Johansson’s star power this week (boo). This seems like the kind of movie that could’ve used a more creative marketing campaign; the traditional trailers and clips approach doesn’t seem to get the job done with general audiences anymore, and something more creative could’ve boosted interest in a way that this film did not.

That does it for the new releases, so let’s dive into the returning films. Wonder Woman held strong in second place this weekend with $40 million, dropping an astonishingly low 30% in its third weekend. This film has now pushed up above $570 million worldwide, with fans seeing the movie again and again (and again) in theaters. You can’t pay for this kind of repeat viewership, you can only earn it, and Wonder Woman continues to impress with its fan engagement and support. The Mummy tumbled to fourth place in its second weekend with $13.9 million, but the film has also grossed more than $239 million at the international box office, suggesting that there may be more life in the Dark Universe than some originally expected. You’d like to see your movies perform better at the domestic box office, but money is money, and Universal will surely take what it can get.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, another story of domestic v. international success, picked up $8 million in its fourth weekend, good enough for sixth place overall on this list. The film has ‘only’ made $150 million domestically  —  you can say ‘only’ when a movie costs $230 million to make  —  but it has now grossed more than $500 million internationally, so we’re probably not seen the last of Captain Jack Sparrow (unless Disney is more risk-averse than they’re letting on). Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie earned $7 million in eighth place, meaning the film has now made a cool $57 million on DreamsWorks Animation’s $38 million investment. The film also featured a below-average 39% drop, suggesting that the title character’s long legs work nicely as a metaphor as well.

In ninth place this week is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which grossed $4.9 million. Guardians has begun its inevitable decline, being pulled from more than 1,000 theaters this weekend, but with more than $800 million to show for itself worldwide, Marvel has proven that fans still enjoy James Gunn’s brand of weird filmmaking. Finally, in 10th place this week is It Comes at Night, which earned $2.6 million and has now doubled its budget at the box office. Those wondering if the film’s unconventional approach to the horror genre would negatively affect its box office will likely note its 56% decline in it second weekend, but It Comes at Night is about to crack the Top 5 of A24 films in terms of box office performance, so that’s a nice win for the studio.

And while it did not crack the Top 10, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out The Book of Henry, which finished in 13th place with just $1.4 million. For a film that cost $10 million to make, Focus Features was likely hoping for a film that had commercial and critical success. Instead, it shall go down in history as The Movie That Launched a Million Star Wars: Episode IX Thinkpieces. Yikes.

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