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Box Office: ‘Despicable Me 3,’ ‘Baby Driver’ Lead Fourth of July Spectacle

'Despicable Me 3' (2017) - Weekend Box Office

Illumination’s ‘Despicable Me 3’ Dips From Part 2 and ‘Minions’

The Minions return for a third installment this Fourth of July weekend, but their return isn’t as explosive as the last two films. Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 claimed the top spot this weekend with an estimated $75.4 million.

Before the summer started, there was no guarantees except for either Guardians 2 or Despicable Me 3 taking the summer crown. Two months later, everything has changed. Well, not just because of Wonder Woman’s amazing success, but also a recent drop in interest for the Minions. Compared to The Secret Life of Pets ($104.4 million) and Minions ($115.7 million), Despicable Me 3’s $75 million opening is a bit weak. The extended holiday weekend will help inflate numbers a bit. But still, its going to hard to crack $300 million. Illumination’s been dominating the past few years. Even last Christmas’ Sing opening moderately, but those legs were simply incredible. Despicable Me 3 has no direct animated competition for the rest of summer (Emoji Movie?), giving it that advantage. That should give it at least a third or fourth place finish for summer films.

While Despicable Me 3 might have taken the top spot this weekend, the talk of the town is Baby Driver. Edgar Wright’s high-octane crime drama has been making waves since Wednesday. With $21 million in the actual three-day frame and $30 million since its Wednesday opening, Baby Driver is already a success story. By Monday, it will become Wright’s most successful film, topping 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World ($31.5 million). We’ll never know how his career would have evolved if he didn’t leave Marvel’s Ant-Man in 2015. But back to Baby Driver. Audiences love it. Critics love it. Its A- grade on CinemaScore  plus word-of-mouth will keep Baby Driver racing around theaters for many weeks to come. It’s way too early to call a $100 million run, but if this was 2003 or 2004, it would be a given.

Transformers: The Last Knight scored its worst opening turnout for the franchise last weekend. In its second frame, The Last Knight fell 62%, grossing another $17 million. That’s on par with Transformers: Age of Extinction, which dropped 63% in 2014. The Michael Bay production is going to struggle to crack $150 million by the end of its run. But with so many other franchises underperforming this summer (Cars, Pirates and Alien), this was no shocker. Falling numbers won’t change the landscape of the summer movie-going season. But perhaps this will remind studios to just end certain franchises.

After losing 529 theaters over the weekend, Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman continues its heroic assault on the box office. The latest installment of the DCEU grossed $16.1 million in its fifth weekend. That’s only down 35.4% million from last weekend, even against Despicable Me 3’s holiday dominance. After a month in theaters, Wonder Woman has lassoed her way to $346.6 million. Already the top DCEU film passing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman is out for even more. Strong holds against Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes and Dunkirk could secure the summer crown. $400 million is the ultimate goal. That in itself is still possible.

Down two spots from last weekend, Pixar’s Cars 3 rounded the top 5, pulling in another $9.5 million. That’s down an alarming 60.4% from last weekend. With Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 being the top contender this weekend, we pretty much expected a major hit. But this is still a different ballgame from two years ago when the critically-acclaimed Inside Out held its own against Minions. Perhaps when you’re gunning for that Best Animated Feature Oscar, there’s less to worry about. Cars 3 stands at $120.7 million right now. And it should have no issues topping The Good Dinosaur ($123.1 million) in a matter of days. Anything north of $150 million is going to be a struggle.

Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.

#1 – Despicable Me 3 (NR)
$75.4 million / $75.4 million total

#2 – Baby Driver (NR)
$21.0 million / $30.0 million total

#3 – Transformers: The Last Knight (1)
$17.0 million / $102.1 million total

#4 – Wonder Woman (2)
$16.1 million / $346.6 million total

#5 – Cars 3 (3)
$9.5 million / $120.7 million total

Opening Next Week: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Source: Box Office Mojo

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