July 4th is a pretty big deal in the Land of the Free, something to with an ‘Interpenzance’ Day or something, and it’s a similarly big weekend in the cinema.
Made all the bigger by a little film called DESPICABLE ME 2 which, in its first 5 days of release, pulled in a mammoth $142.1 million, giving it the biggest ever debut for animated film ahead of TOY STORY 3’s $141 million.
With strong potential for word-of-mouth, a solid brand identity and a prime release, the sequel can expect to comfortably break $300 million and, if ICE AGE DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS is anything to go by (the last animated sequel with a Fourth of July debut) then $400 million is well within sight.
Across the 3-day July 4th weekend, the Top 12 pulled in roughly $220.7 million, making it the 10th biggest weekend of all time and the third weekend out of the last 4 to place in the all time Top 20.
A bumper summer indeed.
Joining the party, albeit with far less energy, is fellow new-release THE LONE RANGER, which pulled in $48.9 million across its first 5 days for 2nd. Despite it’s billing as coming ‘from the team that brought you PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN’, Johnny Depp’s latest vehicle fell well short; PIRATES pulled in $70 million in its opening weekend or $93 million when adjusted for inflation.
Falling a commendable 36%, the Bullock-McCarthy led THE HEAT claimed 3rd spot with $25 million. If it follows in the footsteps of last year’s big-hitter TED it should gross over $160 million.
It was a less rosy week on the post-release front for MONSTERS UNIVERSITY however, which took a proper (though not unsurprising) beating from DESPICABLE ME 2. Plummeting 57% it earned $19.6 million in 4th place, meaning the animated prequel has so far grossed $216.1 million – the 11th Pixar film to earn north of $200 million – and will now struggle to grace the $300 million mark.
Completing the Top 5 this week stands WORLD WAR Z with $18.2 million, marking a drop-off of 39% from last weekend. Brad Pitt’s zombie flick currently stands at $158.7, meaning that – to the ire of journalistic naysayers everywhere – the surprise hit could very well come to a halt with around $200 million.
And because it’s always nice to have something to point and laugh at, WHITE HOUSE DOWN continued along the path to blockbuster misery with just $13.5 million. That’s a fall of 46% for a current gross of $50.5 million, giving the film next to no chance of beating the year’s other White House destroyer OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, which retired with $98.9 million.
Domestic Top 10
1. Despicable Me 2
2. The Lone Ranger
3. The Heat
4. Monsters University
5. World War Z
6. White House Down
7. Man Of Steel
8. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
9. This Is The End
10. Now You See Me
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