Despicable has respectable debut
LOS ANGELES — The Minions have done it again. The yellow stars of Despicable Me 3 catapulted the Universal picture to the top box-office spot, as the sequel bested fellow new releases — Columbia’s Baby Driver and Warner Bros.’ The House — to start the Fourth of July stretch.
Despicable Me 3, from powerhouse Illumination Entertainment, pulled in $99 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters over its five-day “weekend,” starting June 28.
Baby Driver debuted in second place. The Edgar Wright-directed action flick has gathered a total of $39 million since opening, also June 28.
“Edgar and our partners have made one of the most original and entertaining films in recent memory,” said Adrian Smith, Sony’s distribution chief. “We are so thrilled to see it received as a bona fide hit in a crowded summer season.”
Audiences flocked to Baby Driver and were pleased, giving it an A-minus CinemaScore.
“How great it is to see audiences turn out to support original filmmaking,” said Josh Greenstein, Sony’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution. “They’ve made Baby Driver the surprise hit of the summer, a true sleeper.”
The R-rated film did well with critics and is one of a handful of original or independent films last weekend that are notable successes. Sofia Coppola’s R-rated remake of The Beguiled scored in its expansion from four to 674 theaters in its second weekend. It earned about $3.2 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 1,600 theaters.
Landing in third was Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight. In its second week, the picture brought in $17 million, a 62 percent drop from its debut weekend. Domestically, the film has grossed $109 million to date. Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman continues to soar, landing in fourth place in its fifth week with $15.7 million. Domestically, Patty Jenkins’ live-action superhero flick has brought in $355 million to date.
Rounding out the top five was Disney’s Cars 3 with about $9.7 million in its third week. It has grossed $125.4 million to date.
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 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 good will with audiences who have more options than ever before.”
The only other new release, Warner Bros.’ parents-gone-bad comedy The House, fizzled with a sixth-place debut at about $12 million.
This is at least the third R-rated comedy that has struggled for attention this summer amid the big-budget action including Scarlett Johansson’s Rough Night and Amy Schumer’s Snatched.
Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) return in Despicable Me 3, in which former super-villain Gru rediscovers just how good it feels to be bad. The film came in first at last weekend’s box office and made about $99 million.