Box Office: Record-Breaking ‘Dory’ Blasts ‘Independence Day’ Sequel

Hank (Ed O'Neil) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) in Pixar's "Finding Dory"

‘Finding Dory’ Keeps Swimming Past Alien Invaders

Independence Day: Resurgence didn’t have to worry about alien invaders this weekend, but at much larger threat at hand – Pixar. The studio’s latest feature, Finding Dory, continued its dominance over the box office with estimated $73.2 million second weekend.

Since last weekend’s record-breaking $135.1 million opening weekend, Finding Dory has slowed down in the slightest. Breaking $200 million on Thursday and now $250 million on Saturday, Dory is miles ahead of any other animated film in 10 days of release. Former 10-day animated champion, Toy Story 3 ($226.9 million) has been bumped off by the Finding Nemo sequel, currently standing at $286.6 million.

Domestically, Finding Dory just trails Toy Story 3 ($415.0 million), Finding Nemo ($380.8 million), Inside Out ($356.5 million), Up ($293.0 million) and Monsters, Inc. ($289.9 million) in a short span of time. There’s no doubt that Finding Dory will soar past all those previous Pixar releases, landing over the $400 millon mark in mid-July. An easy first place finish over next weekend’s long four-day frame, Finding Dory has zero competition until Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets (July 8). If Dory holds up like Inside Out did against Minions last year, the road to a record-breaking $500 million finish is in sight.

Two decades ago, Independence Day ruled the 1996 box office, becoming one of the biggest movie events of that decade. The Will Smith sci-fi vehicle became the second film in history to open above $50 million and became one of those rare $300 million blockbusters. Independence Day: Resurgence failed to top the 20-year-old debut of Independence Day with a $41.6 million second place start. Adjusting for inflation, Resurgence was about as half crowded as the first film, which would make about $98 million today.

Even nostalgia and returning performances by Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner weren’t enough to match the hype level of the 1996 film. Some long-awaited sequels have managed to break box office records like Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9 million) and Jurassic World ($208.8 million), while others like Tron: Legacy ($44.0) fizzled on debut. The Independence Day sequel is latter and be lucky to finish with half of what the first film did. Even with the seeds of another sequel in place, much of its former summer blockbuster status is absent.

Dropping one spot this weekend to third is the cop comedy, Central Intelligence. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, Central Intelligence pulled in another $18.4 million in its second weekend, bringing its 10-day cume to $69.3 millon. At its current pace, Johnson and Hart are looking at a $100 million hit in the near future. It’s an absolutely necessity in this summer when so many other sequels and tentpoles have been underperforming. There’s no real competition for Central Intelligence until Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates on July 8.

In a bit of surprise this weekend, Blake Lively’s shark film, The Shallows, bit off more than many were expecting, opening with $16.7 million. The Shallows received the best reviews of the wide releases this weekend, currently standing at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. While not a major box office smash, this is a solid debut for Lively, who pulls in mid-teen openings as a lead. Last year’s The Age of Adaline opened to $13.2 million, while 2012’s Savages performed slightly better with $16.0 million.

Smaller new releases, Free State of Jones and The Neon Demon went under the radar this weekend. Jones opened to $7.8 million, barely entering top 5. Coming off of Interstellar and The Wolf of Wall Street, Free State of Jones is a massive drop in box office sales for Matthew McConaughey. Nicolas Winding Refn’s polarizing film debuted to an alarming $607,000.

Edged out the top 5 by $67k is James Wan’s horror sequel, The Conjuring 2. Now in its third frame, the Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson scare-fest grossed another $ million. That brings its 17-day total up to $ million. Despite being on track for a finish above $100 million, The Conjuring 2 hasn’t been able to duplicate the legs of the first film. Anything above $100 million is impressive for Warner Bros. studio. In fact, once the The Conjuring 2 surpasses the century mark, it’ll be only the second supernatural franchise to have two films crack $100 million. The other is Paranormal Activity, which managed to do so with its first and third film during its peak popularity.

Independence Day: Resurgence fell short of my $50 million projection this past Thursday, while The Shallows debut on point with $ million.

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

#1 – Finding Dory (1)
$73.2 million / $286.6 million total

#2 – Independence Day: Resurgence (NR)
$41.6 million / $41.6 million total

#3 – Central Intelligence (2)
$18.4 million / $69.3 million total

#4 – The Shallows (NR)
$16.7 million  / $16.7 million total

#5 – Free State of Jones (NR)
$7.8 million / $7.8 million total

Opening Next Week: The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, The Purge: Election Year

Source: Box Office Mojo

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