Pixar Scores a Decent Victory with Franchise Finale, ‘Cars 3’
Pixar returns back in the fast lane, well semi-fast lane with Cars 3. The animation studio’s 18th feature film topped Wonder Woman this weekend with an estimated $53.5 million.
The debut of Cars 3 is bittersweet for Pixar. It’s on the studio’s weaker side with A Bug’s Life ($33.3 million), The Good Dinosaur ($39.1 million) and Ratatouille ($47.0). And it’s also the weakest start for the franchise behind Cars ($60.1 million) and Cars 2 ($66.1 million). This shouldn’t question whether or not Pixar should continue with sequels. There’s probably still a demand for The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 over the next few years. Cars 3 is going to be in a rough patch in two weeks, going head-to-head with Illumination’s Despicable Me 3. But don’t expect a repeat of the Inside Out and Minions showdown two years ago. Audience did however give the film an A on CinemaScore, which is promising, but will it translate into legs past $150 million?
The past two weeks have all been about Wonder Woman at the box office. After two weeks on top, the Gal Gadot superhero film dipped one spot to third spot, grossing another $40.8 million. Even as Cars 3 raced to the top spot, DC’s golden girl dipped only 30% in its third weekend. This continues to defy all logic for the superhero genre, which burn up quickly at the box office. In fact, this is third-biggest frame for the genre behind Spider-Man ($45.0 million) and The Dark Knight ($42.7 million). If Wonder Woman continues to behave like those two behemoths, Wonder Woman could finish above $390 million. Is the summer’s top battle between Guardians and Despicable Me 3 ready for a curve ball?
After a hefty second place start on Friday, bio-pic All Eyez on Me settled for third place this weekend. Centered around the life of rapper Tupac Shakur, All Eyez on Me opened to a solid $27.1 million. After 2015’s Straight Outta Compton broke out with $60.2 million on opening weekend, all eyes (no pun intended) were on the Tupac bio-pic. While it couldn’t deliver record numbers, nor did it have to, $27 million remains an impressive feat. Critics and audiences have been divided on the bio-pic. At 24%, All Eyez on Me is the worst reviewed new release on Rotten Tomatoes, even behind Rough Night and The Book of Henry. Audiences were more receptive, giving the film an A- on CinemaScore. Based on its opening weekend, we could be looking at very frontloaded run regardless.
The future of the Universal’s Dark Universe continues to look more and more grim. After debuting in second place last weekend, Tom Cruise’s The Mummy slipped two more spots to fourth place. Down 56.1%, The Mummy is unfortunately one of Cruise’s worst drops. Last fall’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back fell 57.9% in its sophomore frame. Overseas, The Mummy is performing much better with over $200 million in the bank. That should keep the Dark Universe going. However, domestically it’s just not resonating like previous Universal monster movies. On the plus side, The Mummy has already topped Dracula Untold ($56.3 million) and 2010’s The Wolfman ($62.0 million) is on deck. But the days of a Mummy Returns, a Van Helsing or even a Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor are far behind.
Rounding out the charts the weekend is survival thriller, 47 Meters Down. The Mandy Moore shark film from Entertainment Studios opened to a moderate $11.5 million. Compared to last summer’s The Shallows, which sank its teeth into a $16.8 million opening haul, it’s not a complete disappointment. Reviews have been mixed on Rotten Tomatoes, which currently have it pegged at 54%. However, audience reception hasn’t been as kind as it scored a dreadful C on CinemaScore. While not much as a critical, audience divide as last weekend’s It Comes at Night, 47 Meters Down burned up more than the other releases out. The one exception being All Eyez on Me. Even finishing around $30 million won’t be too terrible.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – Cars 3 (NR)
$53.5 million / $205.0 million total
#2 – Wonder Woman (1)
$40.8 million / $274.6 million total
#3 – All Eyez on Me (NR)
$27.0 million / $27.0 million total
#4 – The Mummy (2)
$13.9 million / $56.5 million total
#5 – 47 Meters Down (NR)
$11.5 million / $11.5 million total
Opening Next Week: Transformers: The Last Knight (Wednesday)
Source: Box Office Mojo