Box Office Report: Cars, Sharks, Bachelorettes & Tupac Arrive, But 'Wonder Woman' Still Story At Box

Box Office Report: Cars, Sharks, Bachelorettes & Tupac Arrive, But 'Wonder Woman' Still Story At Box

Jun 19, 2017

Here's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Cars 3 - $53.5 million ($53.5 million total)

2. Wonder Woman - $40.7 million ($274.6 million total)

3. All Eyez On Me - $27.0 million ($27.0 million total)

4. The Mummy - $13.9 million ($56.5 million total)

5. 47 Meters Down - $11.5 million ($11.5 million total)

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - $8.4 million ($150.0 million total)

7. Rough Night - $8.0 million ($8.0 million total)

8. Captain Underpants - $7.3 million ($57.9 million total)

9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - $4.9 million ($374.9 million total)

10. It Comes At Night - $2.6 million ($11.1 million total)

 

The Big Stories

Wonder Woman may not be at the top of the box office, but Patti Jenkins’ film hasn’t even begun to go away quietly. In fact, it may have helped give credence to the theory that love trumps hate in the kind of entertainment that women of all ages are choosing to embrace right now. Parents finally got themselves an animated film as an appetizer to the impending Despicable Me 3 and a posthumous birthday present was delivered for Tupac Shakur and the makers of his life story.

 

And Yet No Doc Hollywood 2

The Cars series is kind of like the Spaceballs of the Pixar universe. (“Merchandising! Merchandising! Merchandising!”) OK that’s not entirely fair. Some people really like Spaceballs. Alright, that’s not fair either. There are people who do enjoy the Cars films. They are called children. That’s OK, they will all grow up and recognize that Inside Out, WALL-E and Up are all vastly superior, but in the meantime – see: “Merchandising! Merchandising! Merchandising!”

The first film opened to $60.1 million back in 2006 (or as adults & critics lament – higher than Ratatouille’s $47 million.) Then the sequel in 2011 opened to $66.1 million (or: higher than WALL-E’s $63 million & Monsters, Inc.’s $62.5 million.) Cars 2 then did manage to come up with $53 million less in the U.S. than its predecessor, making it one of only four Pixar films (including The Good Dinosaur and their first two releases, Toy Story and A Bug’s Life) to not crack $200 million at home. On the other hand it did make nearly $100 million more internationally than the first film.

So where does that put Cars 3.

With $53.5 million it is the lowest opening of the series. The 2006 kickoff joined the spate of Pixar films (Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up) to post a 4x multiple from their opening weekends. Cars 2, on other hand, is the only Pixar film to not even reach a 3x total. Could Cars 3 be the second?

In two weeks, Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 opens, the animated film that will get every kid to drop their Lightning McQueen for a Minion. It only took a few hours for estimates on Cars 3 this weekend to drop from $61 million down to $51. As this series does not have the same cache as most of Pixar’s brand we cannot treat it necessarily as one of the pack. How To Train Your Dragon 2 opened to $49.4 million on June 13, 2014 and managed a 3.57 multiple. Madagascar 3 opened to $60.3 and had a 3.58. Somewhere between there and 2.89 is probably the answer, which would put Cars 3 between $154-192 million. Certainly a wide berth, but the success associated with this franchise is really anyone’s guess.

 

All Eyez On Tupac. No Eyes On Scarlett.

The release of a Tupac Shakur biopic this summer was one of the bigger mysteries of the season. Obviously there is some attempted capitalization on the success of Straight Outta Compton and a prime June opening on Shakur’s birthday of all days was too tempting to pass up for Lionsgate. But it is a small, independently-produced movie (all 140 minutes of it) by a director, Benny Boom, whose Next Day Air hardly inspired hope of success or certainly quality. That must be why Lionsgate withheld the film from critics in most markets; perhaps a good idea given the eventual 24% it has received at Rotten Tomatoes. But critics hardly mattered in this case and even the allure of Tupac getting the big-screen treatment may not have been 100% responsible for the surprising success of All Eyez On Me this weekend.

Aside from the phenomenon that was Get Out this past winter and spring, how many films can you name this year that feature a black protagonist? Not easy is it? Allow me to help. Remember Jamie Foxx in Sleepless? How about Ice Cube in Fist Fight? (OK, he was more of an antagonist and, despite top billing, was more secondary to Charlie Day.) Amendla Sternberg in Everything, Everything? Even limited releases like Sleight and A United Kingdom are in short supply.

In other words there has been virtually nothing this summer and barely anything this year featuring African-Americans in prominent roles. Next thing you know, a Benny Boom film is grossing $27 million on opening weekend on a $20 million budget and is en route to becoming one of the most successful independent films of the year.

The same can certainly not be said of Sony’s Rough Night. Wow did I overestimate the potential of this Very Bad Things remake. C’mon, that’s what it is and you know it. Only with ladies. Which is cool. Except audiences already saw the women-behaving-badly film last summer (it was called Bad Moms) and perhaps saw this as just the same ‘ol shtick.

Reviews weren’t that far off with Rough Night garnering a 52% compared to Moms’ 63%. But that “C+” Cinemascore from audiences is a major step down from that “A” grade Moms got a year ago. Wonder Woman is in theaters, so who needs stripper-killing bachelorettes? Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the only film this YEAR launched on over 3,000 screens to have a weaker start than Rough Night’s $8 million, which even on just a $20 million budget is carrying an estimated $35 million in P&A. Which means it is going to need $80-85 million internationally to carry its way into the black. Not a good start to Sony’s summer and now they have to hope that they haven’t doomed Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver by moving it from August to June so The Dark Tower can be headed for lesser disaster territory.

 

Tales of the Top Ten

So how is Wonder Woman doing – aside from just fabulously?

Last week I mentioned that it would need to make $34.6 million to maintain its (still well behind) pace of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Well, it made $40.7 million and thanks to another successful Mon-Thurs it now finds itself at just $27 million off the Guardians pace (down from last week’s $46 million.) It can now be said with some degree of confidence that Wonder Woman is going to take a stab at challenging Guardians as the biggest film of the summer.

In weekend seven, Vol. 2 took in $4.9 million (less than the $8.1 million of the original in the same weekend) and it is still over $68 million ahead of the first film’s pace. That would equal $401 million, but that milestone is still in jeopardy. With only Transformers: The Last Knight opening wide next week it is going to spend one more week in the top ten and be hoping to hit $380 million by next Sunday. Wonder Woman will be well over $300 million by then and anything over $20.9 million on the weekend and $12 million during the week will push it closer to becoming the biggest film of the summer domestically. It has grossed over $571 million worldwide to date.

How is the Dark Universe doing? Other than the planted stories of blaming Tom Cruise for everything, it actually could be a lot worse. Sure the domestic grosses on The Mummy are not great but its drop was more “yeah that’s about right” than “we’re all gonna DIE!” At the very least it can take comfort that it is going to outgross Alien: Covenant. It has surpassed $295 million internationally and still needs between $75-250 million more (depending on which budget you believe) to break even. Blame Cruise if you choose, but stop to think for a moment how much trouble this film and this franchise would be if he was not attached to it.

Johnny Depp is a part of the impending Dark Universe as well and he is watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales come up very short in the U.S., but it, too, is also picking up the slack overseas. It is headed for over a half-billion there alone and with the domestic total is still hoping to post a modest profit. $700 million is the benchmark on where to begin talking success and it is currently at $650. Though Disney can certainly claim some measure of victory given that (not counting the documentary Born in China) their last six narrative releases have grossed $600 million or more worldwide.

Fox, on the other hand, can only claim they have released six of those since 2014 (Deadpool, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Martian, How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Logan.) Captain Underpants certainly isn’t headed there anytime soon or ever and is going to need to charm the overseas crowd if it is expected to make $100 million total.

Also opening this weekend was 47 Meters Down and the launch of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. The Dimension films pickup = was scheduled to go straight-to-video last summer (when it was called “In the Deep.”) Its $11.5 million is the fifth worst launch on over 3,000 screens this year ahead of Wimpy Kid 4, Rough Night, The Circle and Monster Trucks.

Finally we look at last week’s indie studios going wide. A24’s It Comes At Night may have dropped 56% but it’s the sixth highest grosser in the history of the studio and only needs $3.6 million more to be the fourth best. Then Megan Leavey, the first widely launched film in Bleecker Street’s brief history, is going to become its second-highest grossing film to date. $8.1 million may not seem like a sexy number, but it’s a lot sexier than a platform release struggling to make half that.


- Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

 

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