One thing you have to say about this year’s Independence Day weekend at the box office: It sure is far more riveting than last year. This weekend we have a kids’ animated threequel in Illumination/Universal’s Despicable Me 3, a franchise which refuses to show any sign of fatigue with a healthy three-day of $81M; the second best FSS out of the series’ three titles after Despicable Me 2‘s $83.5M (third best if you count the spinoff Minions’ which holds the record domestic debut for any Illumination title at $115.7M). DM3 gets an A- CinemaScore tonight, which is lower than the A earned by the first two movies and Minions, but on par with The Secret Life of Pets.
In second place is edgar wright’s Baby Driver, an action title which is proving that original material when made for the right price actually works at the summer B.O. with a 5-day B.O. of $27M+. Given how yesterday was a half work day for most Americans and also a time for them to travel, Saturday night and even Sunday will provide a better barometer for this weekend’s business. DM3‘s tickets sales, of course, are determined by matinees, while it will be fun to watch word of mouth impacting Baby Driver for the better.
In the wake of microbudget Get Out‘s success at the box office, Baby Driver is another reminder about how potent the theatrical experience remains in the streaming era. There is truly a demand for original material on the big screen, outside of the home. Should Baby Driver’s ticket sales maintain their speed throughout the holiday stretch, many expect a big multiple for Wright’s movie down the road.
Sony insiders were raving about Baby Driver since late last summer, and they did everything in their power to nurture and protect this movie. The studio was able to get their Rotten Tomatoes rating coming out the film’s SXSW premiere (where it won the Audience award) at a 100% and they sold and leveraged that in their trailers. Further trailers would highlight the pic’s unique blend of visuals, music and sound, i.e the international “TeKillYa” trailer which dropped a month prior to release. There was even a specific remix trailer cut to the movie’s opening song “Bellbottoms” edited by Mike Relm, an influencer and video remix master
1. Despicable Me 3 – Friday: $28.6M, Weekend Estimate: $81M, Cume: $81m
2. Baby Driver – Friday:$5.9M, Weekend Estimate: $18M, Five-Day: $27M, Cume: $27M
3. Transformers 5 – Friday: $4.7M, Weekend Estimate: $16.3M, Cume: $101.4M
4. Wonder Woman – Friday: $4.2M, wEEKEND eSTIMATE: $15.3m, cUME: $345.8m
5. thE house – Friday: $3.4m, Weekend Estimate: $9.2M, Cume: $9.2M