De­spi­ca­ble has re­spectable de­but

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE -

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.

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