‘De­spi­ca­ble Me 3’ and ‘Baby Driver’ win, ‘The House’ doesn’t

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

The Min­ions are still a box of­fice force and orig­i­nal sto­ries are scor­ing big, but not the R-rated com­edy — even with Will Fer­rell and Amy Poehler be­hind it.

Stu­dio es­ti­mates on Sun­day say that Univer­sal Pic­tures and Il­lu­mi­na­tion’s “De­spi­ca­ble Me 3” earned US$75.4 million over the week­end, while the for­mer Satur­day Night Live stars’ gam­bling com­edy “The House” burned down.

Fea­tur­ing the voices of Steve Carell and Trey Parker, “De­spi­ca­ble Me 3” eas­ily topped the hol­i­day week­end charts from 4,529 the­atres in North Amer­ica. While it’s a far cry from “Min­ions’” $115-million launch in 2015, and also lower than “De­spi­ca­ble Me 2,” which opened to $83.5 million in 2013, Nick Car­pou, pres­i­dent of Do­mes­tic The­atri­cal Dis­tri­bu­tion for Univer­sal Pic­tures, says $75 million is a num­ber he’ll cel­e­brate any day of the week.

Car­pou notes that Il­lu­mi­na­tion con­tin­ues to prove it­self a for­mi­da­ble brand for fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment.

“They res­onate and ab­so­lutely are re­lat­able,” Car­pou said.

“They’re movies that are built for all ages.”

Edgar Wright’s orig­i­nal heist movie “Baby Driver” coasted to $30 million in its first five days in the­atres, with $21 million from the three-day week­end to take sec­ond place. Sony Pic­tures re­leased the R-rated pic which stars Jamie Foxx, Ansel El­gort, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey and cost a re­ported $34 million to pro­duce.

The R-rated film did well with crit­ics and is one of a hand­ful of orig­i­nal or in­de­pen­dent films this week­end that are notable suc­cesses. Sofia Cop­pola’s Rrated Civil War-set film “The Beguiled” scored in its ex­pan­sion from four to 674 the­atres in its sec­ond week­end. It earned $3.3 million to take eighth place and bested fran­chise fare in­clud­ing “The Mummy” and “Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which were both play­ing in more than 1,670 the­atres.

The well-re­viewed ro­man­tic com­edy “The Big Sick” also did good busi­ness in its ex­pan­sion to 71 lo­ca­tions, earn­ing $1.7 million. The R-rated film ex­pands wide on July 14.

“The best box of­fice sto­ries are fur­ther down the chart. They are all ben­e­fit­ing from feel­ing like the kind of con­tent peo­ple are re­spond­ing to on the small screen,” noted Paul Der­garabe­dian, a se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for comS­core. “Per­haps this is the sum­mer where Hol­ly­wood fi­nally starts em­u­lat­ing the small screen model of cre­at­ing com­pelling orig­i­nal con­tent in or­der to gen­er­ate good­will with au­di­ences who have more op­tions than ever be­fore.”

Round­ing out the top five were holdovers “Trans­form­ers: The Last Knight” in third with $17 million, fol­lowed by “Won­der Woman” with $15.6 million and “Cars 3” with $9.5 million.

Not so suc­cess­ful was sub­ur­ban gam­bling com­edy “The House” which landed in sixth place with only $9 million — one of the low­est of Fer­rell’s ca­reer and the lat­est in a string of R-rated come­dies to tank at the box of­fice fol­low­ing “Rough Night” and “Bay­watch.”

“The R-rated com­edy used to be the an­ti­dote to the typ­i­cal sum­mer block­buster and now those films are hav­ing a tough time,” said Der­garabe­dian not­ing suc­cess sto­ries like “The Hang­over,” “Brides­maids” and “Neigh­bours.” “Now peo­ple feel like they’ve seen that movie be­fore when they watch the trailer. They’ve lost in­ter­est.”

Over­all, the sum­mer box of­fice con­tin­ues to strug­gle and is down nearly eight per cent from last year, while the year to date is close to flat. But the sum­mer box of­fice roller coaster may still have some sur­prises in store.

“‘Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing’ will swing in ac­tion later this week and, like ‘Won­der Woman’ be­fore it, could turn things around,” Der­garabe­dian said. “But we need more than one box of­fice su­per­hero, we need mul­ti­ple films per­form­ing.”


This file im­age re­leased by Il­lu­mi­na­tion and Univer­sal Pic­tures shows the Min­ions in a scene from “De­spi­ca­ble Me 3.” The Min­ions are still a box of­fice force and orig­i­nal sto­ries are scor­ing big, but not the R-rated com­edy “The House” — even with Will Fer­rell and Amy Poehler be­hind it.

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