Disney set off the fireworks this weekend as their latest animated Pixar film, Finding Dory retained the top spot for the third-straight weekend with an estimated $41.9 million. That’s down 42.6% from last weekend.
Finding Dory continues to break animation records, now holding the best third weekend record and 8th overall including live-action films. The record was previous held by DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2 with $37.9 millon. As Finding Dory continues outperforming the green ogre, it’s only a matter of time before we have a new top animated film. Next weekend is expected to put a dent into Finding Dory’s record-breaking run with the release of Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets. Still, the Pixar sequel has plenty of gas in the tank to even push it overall run to $500 millon. But before Pets can even open up this Friday, Dory will already be at $400 million, neck-and-neck with Disney’s Frozen.
While no newcomers managed to dethrone Finding Dory this weekend, Warner Bros.’ The Legend of Tarzan was able to claim second place with an estimated $38.1 million. Tarzan was the least-liked new release among critics, but audiences flocked to the new adaptation more than The Purge: Election Year or The BFG. This latest rendition is actually the biggest opener for Tarzan ever. Disney’s 1999 animated film debuted to $34.2 million with stellar reviews. 1998’s Tarzan and the Lost City opened to a mere $1.1 million. At its current pace, don’t be surprised if there’s a sequel in the near future.
Even with a year off, The Purge: Election Year continued to keep the horror franchise alive with a $30.9 million debut. In fact, Election Year opened $1 million higher than 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy ($29.8 million). Still, that wasn’t enough to knock off the original film’s surprising $34.1 million start in 2013. Like the previous two films, Election Year will projects for around a very frontloaded 2x multiplier by the end of its run. If it follows the trajectory of the first two films, Election Year will be shooting for a $65-75 million finish. That still will not stop Universal from ordering a fourth installment down the line.
Disney’s Roald Dahl adaptation, The BFG, claimed fourth place this weekend with $19.6 million. After the stellar openings Disney has had with Zootopia ($75.1 million), The Jungle Book ($103.3 million), Captain America: Civil War (179.1 million) and Finding Dory ($135.1 million), The BFG seems to be flying more under the radar, unable to crack $20 million. With more family films on the way in the coming weeks such as The Secret Life of Pets and Ice Age: Collison Course, the family demographic may be hard to keep here. This isn’t a massive blow for director, Steven Spielberg either. Spielberg hasn’t had a major opener since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. His three most-recent films, Bridge of Spies, Lincoln and War Horse opened low, but gained legs through awards season. The BFG doesn’t have that advantage, but a $50-60 million run would still be doable.
Dropping three spot to fifth place this week is Roland Emmerich’s disaster sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence. Down 59.8% from last weekend’s underperforming $41 million debut, Independence Day remain on target to attack the century mark in the coming weeks. In comparison, the first film dropped 29.8% its second weekend in the summer of 1996. But then again, the landscape of summer legs has changed since then with more frontloaded runs than two decades ago. Monday’s added holiday gross may push its estimated $72.6 million cume to $75 million after 11 days. For being one of major tentpoles of the summer, its performance is highly disappointing, albeit plans for an Independence Day 3 are in talks.
The Purge: Election Year and The Legend of Tarzan blew past my underestimated predictions from this past Thursday. However, The BFG opened as projected.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – Finding Dory (1)
$41.9 million / $372.3 million total
#2 – The Legend of Tarzan (NR)
$38.1 million / $38.1 million total
#3 – The Purge: Election Year (NR)
$30.9 million / $30.9 million total
#4 – The BFG (NR)
$19.6 million / $19.6 million total
#5 – Independence Day: Resurgence (2)
$16.5 million / $16.5 million total
Opening Next Week: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Secret Life of Pets
Source: Box Office Mojo